Local News

June 13, 2014

Commissioners expected to choose new Whitfield fire chief Monday

Whitfield County residents could find out who their next fire chief will be on Monday.

The Board of Commissioners has a special called meeting at 9 a.m. in Administrative Building 2, 214 W. King St. in Dalton.

“We have three finalists for fire chief,” said board Chairman Mike Babb.” We will go into executive session to talk about it one more time. Then, we’ll come back out into an open meeting and appoint a new fire chief.”

The board named those finalists on Saturday, May 31, and under state law had to wait at least 14 days before selecting a new chief. The finalists are Randy Kittle, an assistant fire chief for the Whitfield County Fire Department; Danny Roach, an assistant fire chief for the Whitfield County Fire Department; and Edward O’Brien, the ex-fire chief/emergency management director for DeKalb County Fire Rescue.

Kittle has been a Whitfield County assistant fire chief since March 1994. He previously served as lieutenant/volunteer captain and lieutenant/station coordinator with the department. He has worked for the county fire department since April 1982.

Roach has been a Whitfield County assistant fire chief since October 2006. He is currently the training chief for the department, assisting the fire chief with daily operations, investigations, suppressions and special operations. He has more than 34 years experience in firefighting.

O’Brien supervised 800 employees during his time as fire chief/emergency management director of DeKalb County Fire Rescue. In his application, he stated his reason for leaving the department was “normal retirement with 30 years service to the citizens of the county.”

The new chief will replace Carl Collins, who retired May 30 after some 32 years as county fire chief. He joined the newly formed Whitfield County Fire Department as a volunteer in 1977. Collins announced his retirement in March. He was only the second fire chief in the county’s history.

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