Horton named new Newburgh fire chief

Retiring Newburgh City Fire Chief Terry Ahlers shakes hands with colleagues as he took the final walk from the public safety building on Thursday (Photo: Bob McCormick)

NEWBURGH – City Manager Joseph Donat has named Assistant Fire Chief William Horton as the new chief effective today (Friday, January 3).

The appointment is provision pending results of the civil service exam administered last month.

Acting Chief Terry Ahlers retired effective Thursday, January 2 ending his 19-year career with the Newburgh department.

His final walkout on Thursday was between two lines of fellow firefighters, dispatchers and friends and he took the time to shake each person’s hand.

Horton joined the department in 2003. He is a nationally certified fie officer, New York State fire instructor and code enforcement officer and most recently served as building inspector in Newburgh.

“Chief Horton is a dedicated public servant who leads by example,” said Donat. “His experience and resiliency have prepared him to make an immediate contribution as chief. Bill brings both academic and real life experience to the job, and is the best possible candidate to lead ‘Newburgh’s Bravest’.”

Horton said addressing deficiencies in the department’s apparatus, facilities and staffing “will be the first steps in better positioning the Newburgh Fire Department to meet current and future challenges faced by first responders across the nation.”

The new chief said he was born, grew up and built his professional career in the City of Newburgh. “Good government and strong communities are synonymous with public safety and I’m excited to bring the resources of the Newburgh Fire Department to bear on the redevelopment and revitalization of Newburgh.”