The two bits of feedback I've heard of the situation is, "He was a great guy in high school," and "He's a great firefighter." Not discounting his work and career, neither of those things are a requirement for the executive-level position of a fire chief. This was a plain and simple policy decision.
I expect excellence among the leadership of our city, defending it where it exists, and pushing for improvement where it isn't. Our public servants deserve our best leaders.
Coming from experience in the private sector, if an executive is violating policy and not getting the results he's been compensated to get, he is replaced with someone who will.