Fire department adds division chiefs to structure
Thomasville Fire Department is restructuring its administration division.
City Council at its Oct. 21 meeting unanimously approved a reorganization request from Thomasville Fire Chief Martin Dailey that eliminates the department's assistant chief position and creates three division heads. The new division chiefs will oversee fire and life safety, code and training.
"It just creates more balance for the department," Dailey said. "It opens a lot of doors for people in the future."
Two assistant chiefs retired from the department in the past decade. In 2006, the city elected to eliminate one of the positions through attrition and freeze the other one until earlier this year. Instead of promoting one person to the position, Daily felt it was good time to reward three people who helped fill the void over the past several years. Dailey named Dolly Hulin, Rocky Watts and Don Crafford as division chiefs.
"They've done a wonderful job helping me run the department administratively, doing all the things the two assistant chiefs did," Dailey said. "That was the purpose for doing this realignment to the administration division. We were holding our breath and crossing our fingers that we would be able to do this. They're extremely happy."
Hulin becomes the department’s first woman chief officer as she now is the division chief of fire and life safety. Hulin will oversee all of the department's education programs and initiatives. Crafford becomes the division chief of training and standards. He is responsible for all of TFD's training, for recruits and officers, and the standards with which the department must comply. Watts, TFD's fire marshal, was named the division chief of code enforcement. Dailey said Watts currently is department’s lone inspector, but plans are to bring in more in the next couple of years.
"He's totally overwhelmed," Dailey said of Watts. "Hopefully we'll be able to get some inspectors so he'll be in charge of that whole division."
All three new division chiefs received a raise as part of realignment. Council approved a five percent pay increase for the new chiefs, including $4,325 for the remainder of 2013.
"Thank you to Chief Dailey and his staff," said Councilman Scott Styers. "I know there was an awful lot of discussion that went into trying to find the best and fairest way to do this reorganization."
In other news, the council voted to award a franchise agreement to the City of Lexington to provide natural gas services to Pilot Elementary School and the surrounding area.
"This will allow the City of Lexington to move natural gas lines into Thomasville," City Manager Kelly Craver said. "They would be able to serve any street that they so desire and would put them on a level playing field with Piedmont Natural Gas within our corporate limits."
Council members awarded a rehabilitation project contract for the East Davidson Pump Station to Brush Mountain Builders, Inc. The $651,148 contract is far less than the estimated $1 million price tag for the project.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.