Birmingham Fire Department
Sep 30, 2019 12:00 PM
Paul Wells - Interim Chief
Birmingham Fire Department

Paul Wells didn’t expect to become Birmingham’s fire chief when he began suiting up for the Oakland County city more than two decades ago. It was more of a natural progression as his career evolved with training, expertise and leadership roles.

He agreed late last year to serve as interim chief when John Connaughton retired from the position after nearly four decades. Then, Wells officially said yes to his department’s top position.

Birmingham City Council appointed Wells, 41, fire chief on Aug. 5. He will oversee at least 30 firefighters, most trained as paramedics, to cover a community of about 20,000 residents and 1,400 businesses including those within The Rail District. The Rail District has become known for its art galleries, antique shops and restaurants.

While managing an annual spending plan of about $6 million, Wells wants to invest in technology and training so that the agency can continue to be the best department possible. “I want to make sure we’re always striving to be the latest and the greatest,” Wells said.

Wells began with the Birmingham Fire Department as an emergency medical technician and firefighter in August 1998.

Over the years, he has served as EMS coordinator, lieutenant/paramedic, captain, and assistant fire chief. He graduated from the Eastern Michigan University Fire Staff and Command Executive Leadership Program in 2017 and received a bachelor’s in science degree in fire administration in 2018. 

Wells has been married to his wife, Amanda, for 14 years. They have two children – Evelyn, 12, and Pauly, 10. Pauly and his dad share an April 8 birthday.