The Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Department is advertising for applications for a deputy fire chief.

The Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Department is advertising for applications for a deputy fire chief.

Former deputy fire chief Shauwn Howell was promoted to fire chief on Dec. 31, 2011, and the post has been empty since. Howell said he has been going through the necessary due process to get ready for hiring what will be his second-in-command.

“[We will be looking for] the best qualified person for the job, somebody’s who’s committed to moving this department forward, someone who has a vision for a more progressive department and improving our delivery of service,” Howell said.

Department spokesman Lt. Harold Clark said the job was posted June 15 and the deadline will be the end of the business day July 2. Interviews will be set up after that, and if everything goes smoothly, a deputy chief could be in place by mid-July, Clark said.

Howell said no applications had been submitted as of Thursday.

Howell became deputy fire chief in June 2010 after former fire chief Dannie Smith requested the power to select his deputy from the Pine Bluff City Council, who voted to give the fire chief that power. Since then, the Civil Service Commission has also been abolished, essentially giving the police and fire chiefs total control over promotions within the departments.