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After spending months in the job on an interim basis, Ted Bateman will officially be sworn in as Penn's director of fire and occupational safety at a ceremony tonight.

Bateman, a former Philadelphia firefighter, has more than 30 years experience in fire suppression, investigation and public safety. He was announced as the new director by Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush in an University-wide e-mail memo on Monday.

"Ted has an extensive and prestigious background in the fire services with the Philadelphia Fire Department," Rush said in the e-mail.

Bateman was initially hired by the Division of Public Safety in March 2000 as an officer with the Department of Fire and Occupational Safety. This summer, he was appointed interim director of that department when Harry Cusick stepped down in July to pursue a career in consulting.

Of the three final candidates evaluated for the position, Rush said Bateman was selected because of his prior experience in the position and his time spent at Penn.

"The thing that makes Ted stand out is ability to operate within an institution of higher learning, and he has that experience under his belt," Rush said. "He also has a great desire to serve the University and make it a safer place for faculty, staff and students."

During his 30-year tenure with the Philadelphia Fire Department, Bateman held several high-level command positions in addition to serving as a firefighter. He has served as deputy fire marshall, a battalion chief, public information officer, captain and a special projects officer.

Bateman said he is looking forward to the increased responsibility that comes with his new post.

"I certainly welcome the challenge and the opportunity to work in this capacity in the University," Bateman said. "It's the culmination of a career in working in the public service."

Bateman said he is looking forward to developing and maintaining connections with Penn's faculty and students, a privilege he was not afforded while working for the city.

"It's a 24-hour a day, seven day a week job," Bateman said. "You have to weave yourself through the fabric of the University to make things work."

A native of Philadelphia, Bateman, 54, has two grown children. He said his experience with his own family should prove to be an asset in his new job.

"That's another compass I use in terms of doing my job," Bateman said. "We're entrusted in the care of the young men and women that come to the University."

Bateman will be sworn into his new position at a ceremony tonight in the Nursing Education Building. Police Chief Tom Rambo, who was appointed in July, will also be officially sworn in at the ceremony.

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