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franklin county times

Council pursues deputy fire chief

During its May 17 meeting, the Russellville City Council voted in favor of authorizing the submission of a job description for deputy fire chief to the civil service board for its approval.

It’s a move Fire Chief Joe Mansell said makes sense for ensuring things run smoothly in order to provide a high level of safety for Russellville. He said it’s been on his mind since he came down with COVID-19 this past year.

“We’ve got a great fire department, but the way our chain of command works, when I’m out of the picture, the captains run their shifts, and the way the captains do that is they work 24 and then they’re off 48, so it’s always somebody different coming in,” Mansell explained.

He said there needs to be somebody who can step up to take over and keep things running if he is not on duty – to wit, a deputy chief.

“We have a bunch of great captains in the department, but we just need to have a little better structure,” Mansell said. “This would allow us to have one person ready to step up to the plate and be able to answer any questions or take over if anything goes south during a call.”

Mansell said a deputy chief would only come into the picture on such occasions he is unable to do so. He said if approved, the position will be filled internally.

“The biggest thing is to have that structure in place so that if something happened to me, there’s somebody set for the guys to look to that can keep things running smoothly,” he reiterated. “It would also help us for the purposes of managing time off.”