Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson has appointed Assistant Chief Johnny Morris Jr. to become the Interim Chief of the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department (MFRD) and Rob Lasky to serve as the Interim Executive Director of Public Safety.
Morris will step into his new role following the retirement of MFRD Chief Jeremy Lami. After three years as Fire Chief and a 21-year career with MFRD, Lami is retiring to pursue an opportunity in the private sector, effective Nov. 4, 2023. Mayor Stimpson intends to nominate Morris for the role of MFRD Chief permanently, which will need to be approved by a supermajority of Mobile City Council per the Zoghby Act. If the city council approves the nomination, Morris would become the 17th Fire Chief to lead the MFRD and the first Black fire chief in the City of Mobile's history.
“From the age of four, these fire stations have been my second home," Lami said. "Over the years, I have been privileged to witness firsthand the unwavering dedication, bravery and commitment of our firefighters and support staff. Our ranks are filled with some of the finest individuals I have ever had the honor to serve alongside. I’m incredibly thankful for the experiences and relationships along my journey. I’ve honestly loved every position I’ve had the honor to serve in throughout my career.”
A second-generation firefighter and U.S. Army Veteran, Lami has served the citizens of Mobile as part of MFRD since 2002. He has held multiple positions in the department and was the Chief of Staff to former Fire Chief Mark Sealy for three years before being sworn in as MFRD's Chief in 2020.
“I want to thank Chief Lami for his tremendous leadership and dedication to the men and women of MFRD. Chief Lami ushered the department through unparalleled achievements such as an ISO-1 rating, CAAS accreditation for our ambulance service and CFAI accreditation for the entire department. MFRD is only the ninth fire department in the U.S. to have reached all three of these high standards,” Stimpson said. “Chief Lami has served the citizens of Mobile with integrity for 21 years, and we are grateful for his service. He is certainly one of, if not the, best Fire Chief in Mobile history. We wish him well on his newfound opportunities in the private sector.”
Morris is a Mobile native with over three decades of service with MFRD. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Morris has served as a captain, district chief, administrative chief, and deputy chief. Since 2020, he has been an Assistant Fire Chief while also serving as Lami’s Chief of Staff. Throughout his career, Morris has served at every level of the department and held leadership roles within multiple divisions of MFRD. He has achieved numerous professional awards and accolades during that time. “Chief Morris has a 32-year track record as a valued teammate and leader within MFRD," Stimpson said. "As Chief of Staff to Chief Lami, he has played an integral role in making MFRD one of the best fire departments in the nation. Chief Morris has my utmost confidence in his ability to continue that tradition of excellence, and I am grateful to have his experience and dedication at the helm.”
“I want to congratulate Chief Lami on his retirement and offer best wishes on future endeavors. I thank him for over 21 years of service to the department and the leadership he provided as the Chief. His dedication, compassion, and drive for MFRD was contagious. He will be missed,” Morris said. “I feel blessed and very grateful for the opportunity to grab the baton and continue working towards the goals, objectives, and mission of the Mobile Fire Rescue Department. Chief Lami hit the ground running and as I continue the race, I’ll ensure the department stays focused on working with purpose, implementing positive change, and most importantly, MAKING A DIFFERENCE!”
Lasky's appointment as the city's Interim Executive Director of Public Safety is effective immediately. After a 20-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lasky served as the Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI's Mobile Division and then the Miami Division prior to retiring in 2018. He was appointed Director of the City of Mobile's Office of Professional Responsibility in 2021. He will continue to lead OPR while serving as Mobile's Public Safety Director — a position that has been vacant since June. Mayor Stimpson intends to nominate Lasky as the full-time Executive Director of Public Safety. To become effective, Lasky’s nomination would also need to be approved by a supermajority of the city council.
“Rob Lasky has done a remarkable job since joining the City of Mobile as the head of our Office of Professional Responsibility," Stimpson said. "His long career in law enforcement, legal background and experience working with both MPD and MFRD make him particularly well suited for the role of Public Safety Director. Most importantly, I know he has the greatest level of respect for all the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of Mobile.”
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve our first responders and the citizens of Mobile as Public Safety Director," Lasky said. "I am committed to supporting these departments with the tools, resources and training to do their job and provide Mobilians with the highest level of transparency and professionalism. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with the exceptional leadership at MPD and MFRD over the past two years, and I am looking forward to what we will accomplish together in this new role.”