Cynthiana has a new fire chief, but he's no new face.
James "Jay" Sanders was promoted from assistant chief to chief last week by the Cynthiana City Commission. Sanders shared the assistant chief rank with Charles Allen Carson and Robbie Lyons. The three men headed up the department following the retirement of Terry Stinson nearly a year ago.
"There was no interruption to city services," Sanders said, commending his colleagues.
Sanders said he is trying to get things organized, but his first obstacle will be to get Cynthiana's ISO rating reduced. The lower the rating, the better insurance premiums are for homeowners, he said.
Committees were established within the department to spread out the responsibility as well as to have more idea sharing.
"It's easier to use every head instead of one or two," Sanders said.
He said he also wants to be a more visible force in the community.
"Every time someone sees us, they are losing something or in some kind of distress," Sanders said. "We want to be able to respond as someone they know. We want people to feel like they are calling family instead of strangers to their house."
Sanders said the 16 firefighters that make up the Cynthiana Fire Department are completely committed to Cynthiana and its residents.
He applauded his colleagues for their efforts to be more visible and for their compassion.
"When they shine, I shine on with them," Sanders said. "And, they do a lot of shining."
In 2007, the department responded to 34 fires and 442 other calls.
"It's going to be the same mission we've always had," Sanders said of his leadership. "It's just a new face and new tools."
Sanders received his fire training at Texas A&M while he was working at Toyota in 1990. He came to Cynthiana in 1995.
He and his wife Laura Mains Sanders, who works for the Cabinet for Families and Children, have two children, Jackson, 13, and Jacob, 9.