Chief Long is getting used to his new title


It’s been over a month since the City of Portsmouth congratulated a new Fire Department Chief and Robert “Bob” Long says things are falling into place nicely.

Long has been with the Portsmouth Fire Department for 26 years. Prior to working for Portsmouth, Long was an aircraft crash firefighter for Columbus Airport. He was also a part-time firefighter in Wellston, Ohio, where he grew up.

Long has held the ranks of firefighter, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and now chief with Portsmouth Fire Department.

“It’s different. I’ve always been the kind of guy who went into the fires and, now, being the guy who sits in an office and does paperwork and all of that is an adjustment,” Long said. “I am getting there, but I still miss getting out and making runs to fires, but I’m adjusting well.”

The adjustment period comes from a life of fighting fires and being involved in a fire department.

Long’s father was the Fire Chief in Wellston and Long says that the fire station was his playground growing up.

“I’ve been around a fire department since I was about 2 years old,” Chief Long said. “When I wanted to see my dad, that is where I went to hang out.”

This step was a natural progression in Long’s career and life within the fire department and he says that the transition is better than expected.

“It’s going better than expected. It wasn’t a job I ever really wanted. I was happy making runs and never wanted the headache of the job, but I am starting to get into the rhythm and it isn’t too bad and I can see big things coming.”

When asked about the big things he sees coming, he had a few ideas.

“I think we will hopefully grow and get more into the community as far as joining programming, providing we have enough time between runs,” Long explained.

City Manager Sam Sutherland thinks positively of Long and believes his experience will carry the department into the future.

“He is doing a fine job, Sutherland said. “With his 26 years experience, ten of which being assistant chief, I’m sure he is going to be highly successful in his new endeavor.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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