Thomasville Fire Chief Martin Dailey could have a new second in command pending a vote from City Council on Monday night.
Dailey is asking City Council to reactivate the job of assistant fire chief at Thomasville Fire Department, a position that has been frozen since 2006 and still is included in the career advancement program. Council will vote on the request at its monthly meeting Monday night.
“All I’m asking them to do is to go ahead and let me fill the position at some point,” Dailey said. “It’s really just getting something activated that’s already there. We’ve always had an assistant chief rank in the past. We used to have two, and when they retired I wasn’t able to fill that position at that point due to budget reasons.”
When TFD revised its career advancement program in 2011, Dailey said he garnered approval to reintroduce the assistant position and Monday’s vote would let him fill it. First implemented in 1998, TFD’s career enhancement program outlines criteria, timing grade, education and certifications that must be met in order to move up in rank. The program is updated to keep up with changes in certain certifications and state requirements.
“It’s a way of mapping your career,” said Dailey. “Everyone gets a copy when they’re hired so they know what they need have to do. As they progress through their time at TFD, they see the criteria they have to meet to advance to certain positions. The rank structure remains the same but sometimes content may change to keep up state standards.”
TFD’s rank system is firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief, assistant fire chief and chief. Dailey said the new position would be assistant chief of operations on the fire suppression side. An assistant chief would fill in for Dailey when needed and also would help with planning and research. Dailey said the application process would be begin inside the department first. TFD has 64 firefighters working three shifts at four stations across the Chair City. Each station is led by a captain.
“You certainly hope you can stay within [the department],” Dailey said. “I do have qualified people who would be eligible for it.”
City Manager Kelly Craver said council froze the position in 2006 and unfreezing it requires their action. Thomasville Police Department has a similar career advancement program. There is no timetable as to when the position will be filled.
“The whole thing now is Council must approve it,” said Craver. “We can then look to the budget to make sure we can fund it.”
In other news, the Council will call for a public hearing on March 18 regarding the annexation of Fleer Avenue in the Fair Grove community. Last summer, council voted to annex a donated portion of Fleer Avenue in order to put the entire street inside corporate limits so the city could take over its maintenance. When Fleer Avenue originally was annexed in 2001, a survey found only half the road’s right-of-way was inside city limits.
“What we’ll do now is annex the rest of the right-of-way,” Craver said. “Following the public hearing, council will consider the annexation and also consider taking the street for maintenance. This is all part of the process.”
Council meetings are held on the second floor at TPD, 7 W. Guilford St., at 7 p.m.