McCormack Resigns, Perry Called ‘Prime Candidate’ to Head Academy
In an unexpected move, David M. McCormack resigned as superintendent of the National Fire Academy, effective February 1. He completed his third year in that position on January 14.
In his letter to Secretary of Commerce Juanita M. Krepps, McCormack wrote, “In my judgment, the new administrator (of the United States Fire Administration) should have the option to influence the selection of a superintendent of the academy to carry out its important tasks.”
Raymond L. Perry of the International Association of Fire Fighters was mentioned as “a prime candidate” to become academy superintendent in a statement issued by Joseph A. Moreland, acting administrator of the U. S. Fire Administration. Perry is administrative assistant to President W. Howard McClennan of the International Association of Fire Fighters. Moreland indicated that Perry would be hired as a consultant to the academy about February 2. Perry retired from the Birmingham, Ala., Fire Department as a battalion chief a number of years ago.
Until an academy superintendent is named, Edward J. Rollins, who became deputy superintendent last year, will be acting superintendent. Prior to joining the academy staff, he was vice president of Ryland Research, Inc., and that firm’s Washington representative. Before that, he worked for the Federal Railroad Administration.
In his letter to Mrs. Krepps, McCormack stated that “emphasis is now needed to prepare for opening” a permanent site for the National Fire Academy. It is known that the site favored by the academy leadership is St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Md., northwest of Washington, but the New York congressional delegation is making a strong pitch to locate the academy at the New York City Fire Academy on Wards Island. This location would involve the acquisition of buildings in addition to those available, which are designed mostly for hands-on training. More important, the price being asked is several million dollars more than authorized for the National Fire Academy physical plant.
McCormack, who is expected to work for the academy as a consultant for an indefinite period, noted in his resignation letter that the academy will start an open university program in fire-related education this coming fall with a number of universities participating.