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Pickard promoted to EAFD chief

VALLEY — Long-time East Alabama Fire Chief Neal Marberry has moved into an administrative position with the East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection District. This allows the former deputy chief, Kerry Pickard, to move up to chief with Jacob Geiger being named the new deputy chief.

Geiger had formerly served as the battalion chief. Captain Cody Sims is now the administrative fire captain and Captain Levi Richardson the administrative EMS captain. Other promotions include Lt. Logan Daniel to captain and firefighters Russell Yarbrough and Brandon Butts being new lieutenants.

Pickard has more than 18 years in fire and emergency services. He’s been with East Alabama since 2012. During his tenure, he has earned his master’s degree in organizational leadership along with other degrees and certifications.

“You are only as good as the people you have around you,” Pickard said. “I am excited about the team we have built and look forward to many great things that will come.”

His goal is for East Alabama to provide the highest quality of service to the people being served while providing a work environment where the employees feel like they are home.

“With the people we have in place now, from the new administration all the way to our newest team member, we will be successful” Pickard said, “I look forward to serving my staff and the community.”

The East Alabama Fire Department currently has five firefighters per shift or a total of 15 throughout the district. The main building is on Fob James Drive with a new station in Fairfax. Both are staffed full-time.

“We have eight full-time paramedics and several part-time firefighters and paramedics,” Pickard said. “We cover approximately 39 square miles. This covers the entire city of Valley and some nearby unincorporated parts of Chambers County just outside the city.”