Vanlandingham will perform safety, security, and emergency response work for Voestalpine beginning Sept. 1. His last day with the fire department will be Aug. 15.
“To be able to stay local is a huge benefit,” the Portland resident said.
Portland’s Voestalpine facility is currently under construction. Vanlandingham’s initial duties there will include establishing an emergency response plan, and hashing out safety policies and procedures.
“Whenever it’s more operational, everything will be in place,” Vanlandingham said. “There will be a lot to do before it’s fully operational.”
Vanlandingham is a certified Hazmat tech, which will allow him to work with the natural gas materials which will be produced at Voestalpine. His fire department background has also allowed him to work with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which will be beneficial in relation to Voestalpine’s shipping initiatives.
“You get exposed to a lot as a fire chief,” Vanlandingham said. “It’s a good experience. It has prepared me well.”
Vanlandingham’s connections with the city will benefit him in his new role, as the Portland Fire Department will be the first responding agency for Voestalpine, he said.
Vanlandingham has been Portland’s fire chief for three-and-a-half years, and has worked for the city for eight-and-a-half years.
Some initiatives the fire department has embarked on under Vanlandingham’s watch include the expansion of Fire Station 2 – which is currently under construction – the purchase of a new fire truck, a more involved presence in the community regarding CPR training, and stronger relationships with neighboring fire departments. Support from the city, along with his staff, has played a major role in those accomplishments, he said.
“You’re only as good as the people that work with you or for you,” Vanlandingham said. “I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I have without the staff here and the support of the city.”
Vanlandingham is the second Portland public safety official to announce resignation plans this month. Police Chief Gary Giles’ last day on the force was Friday.