Walker named interim fire chief
By John M. Ayers
The Gilchrist County Commission accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Billy Careccia in their Monday, May 21 meeting. Commissioner D. Ray Harrison, Jr. made a motion to allow Emergency Medical Services Supervisor Linda Walker fill the duties of the position temporarily and have the volunteer department chief position advertised for consideration by the County Administrator for hiring at a later time. Commissioner Randy Durden agreed with a second to the motion.
County Administrator Bobby Crosby told the board that he had talked with supervisory staff involving the organization of the fire service in Gilchrist County. He explained that he would draft a reorganization plan and present it to the board for their consideration in an upcoming meeting.
Commissioner Harrison asked why is the county considering reorganization of the fire service? “I didn’t realize there was a problem with the present level of fire service,” Harrison stated. Harrison pointed out that he felt the fire service needed to be more focused on the volunteer fire- fighters, which makes up a majority of the fire service.
Don Alexander, a member of the Spring Ridge Fire Department told Commissioner Harrison, “We now have paid professional firefighters in Gilchrist County and they should receive first consideration since they answer a majority of the calls in Gilchrist County.”
The Commission approved the motion to have Linda Walker become the interim director fire chief in Gilchrist County and the County Administrator would present a proposed draft of the reorganization of the fire service to the board in a future meeting.