Local News

May 31, 2014

3 finalists emerge for county fire chief

A former head of the DeKalb County Fire Rescue and two veterans of the Whitfield County Fire Department are the three finalists to be the county’s next fire chief.

The Whitfield County Board of Commissioners on Saturday named the finalists for the job. They 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.

County officials interviewed the finalists Saturday. The interviews were conducted in executive session, which is closed to the public and media. Now that county officials have released the names of the finalists, they have a 14-day window where they cannot make a hire. County Administrator Mark Gibson said commissioners, who will hire the next chief, are expected to reveal their choice on June 16 in an open meeting. Gibson said the pay range is between $75,000 and $85,000.

The new chief replaces Carl Collins, who officially retired on Friday after some 32 years as county fire chief. He joined the newly formed Whitfield County Fire Department as a volunteer in 1977. Collins, who will turn 65 in June, announced his retirement in March. Collins was only the second fire chief in the county’s history.

Kittle has been a Whitfield County assistant fire chief since March 1994. He lists positions of lieutenant/volunteer captain and lieutenant/station coordinator as previous jobs 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 more than 27 years as fire chief/emergency management director of DeKalb County Fire Rescue. In his application, he stated his reason for leaving the department as “Normal retirement with 30 years service to the citizens of the county.”

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