PRESTONSBURG – The search for a new fire chief for the city of Prestonsburg came to and end last week, when the Mayor and Council selected Mike Brown to head up the department.
Mike Brown, who has most recently acted as Assistant Fire Chief in Belfry, will take over the position on February 15.
Brown said Monday that he was contacted about the position a couple weeks ago, and that it was something he was a move of which he was greatly interested.
“I’m really excited. It’s a new step. I’ve been a volunteer all my life. You always think about those possibilities of finding, what I would consider, paid career position,” said Brown. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the firemen there. So its really exciting to know I’ll be a part of that.”
Brown says that he has worked in the firefighting profession since he was a teenager, culminating in 23 years experience with the Belfry Fire Department, where he has held several administrative and board positions.
The position was filled last Thursday when, during a special called meeting of the Prestonsburg City Council, the mayor and members discussed in executive session, the hiring of Brown, before making the appointment official in open session. Brown says that he had met with three councilmen recently for his interview.
“I met with three of the council members and we went over some things, some scenarios,” said Brown. “They gave me some things they would like to see. They had some questions for me. If some things were attainable, or out of the question.”
Brown said he also had an opportunity for discussions with Mayor Les Stapleton.
Floyd County is not entirely uncharted territory for Brown, who has worked as a swift water instructor in conjunction with the Floyd County Rescue Squad during their summer training sessions. Brown says that he has also been on the ground during swift water events where mutual aid was requested.
Brown could not elaborate on any definitive plans he has moving forward for the department saying he hasn’t had an opportunity to fully evaluate the department but that his main goal is overall improvement.
“I’m just looking to make the department better,” said Brown.
Brown says that during his year-long probation period, he will continue to commute from his current home in Pike County, but will begin looking to move into the Prestonsburg area. “I want to make sure I like the position, and that the people of Prestonsburg like me.”
Brown takes over for Bobby Carpenter, who left the position in September of 2015. In the wake of his departure, Mayor Les Stapleton had appointed himself interim fire chief, while Assistant Chief Chuck Davis and Lt. Daryl Sparks managed day-to-day operations and administration.
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