Troup County continues hunt for new fire chief

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, June 13, 2019

By Alicia B. Hill

Troup County has received 30 applicants for the fire chief position, including two internal candidates, according to information obtained through an open records request.

Last month, Troup County announced Fire Chief Dennis Knight’s plans to step into a new position covering training and emergency management and started the search for his replacement.

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Until his replacement is hired, Knight will continue to serve as the county’s fire chief. County Manager Eric Mosley said the county has received applications from a number of qualified individuals so a new chief could be hired as soon as the next 30 days.

“We have been excited by the number of applicants we have received,” Mosley said. “We were also very excited about the geographic diversity of the applicants that we received. We had applicants from North Dakota, Wisconsin and California. We’ve also obviously had a lot of applicants in the regional area in Georgia.”

Even with applicants from all over the United States, Mosley said that the quality of those candidates was the most important consideration.

“More importantly, not just the geographic component, but the high level of quality that we saw in the applicants has been amazing,” Mosley said. “It has been very difficult to really narrow it down because there have been so many that are such high quality.”

Mosley reiterated feelings from a month ago, saying that the county is happy to be able to take advantage of Knight’s experience in emergency management in the new county position.

“We spoke months ago, and he really enjoys the emergency management side of his job,” Mosley said. “We felt like, and he felt like, that was his greatest strength. So, he will be transitioning into a full time emergency management director for Troup County. We’ve never had one before — since I’ve been here for sure — and I feel like we really need to focus on that for the vitality of our community.”

Mosley said having someone in Knight’s new position would allow the county to apply for grants available through the state and federal government.

Mosley said that he has high hopes for whoever takes on the role of Troup County’s next fire chief.

“We hope, of course, the new fire chief will be able to come in and be able to really focus on the big picture at the fire department,” Mosley said. “As the county grows, we’ve got to be able to grow with it.”