Charleston City Council approves hiring Brack as fire chief

Karen Brack

Charleston City Council on Tuesday backed Mayor Joe Riley’s decision to hire Karen E. Brack of Oregon to be the city’s next fire chief.

Brack, 55, is deputy chief of the Eugene fire and EMS department. She is the first woman to lead the Charleston department and is expected to start Aug. 1. She will make $137,000 a year.

There was slight opposition. Councilman James Lewis said earlier that he favored another candidate who already has chief-level experience leading a department.

Brack succeeds Thomas Carr, who retired in March because of complications from his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.