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franklin county times

Russellville fire chief earns state Career Fire Chief of Year honor

Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell recently received the distinction of being named the Alabama Career Fire Chief of the Year.

He was officially recognized June 23 during the Alabama and Southeastern fire chiefs conference in Mobile.

“It’s a big honor, one of the major achievements of my career,” explained Mansell.

It comes on the heels of another career milestone – 20 years as the Russellville fire chief.

Mansell got his start working as a volunteer firefighter for two years, beginning in 1990, at the age of 18. “I realized this was the job for me,” he said. “I enjoy being out and doing things and helping people, especially being able to serve my community.”

For Russellville Fire Sgt. Mickey Gentry, Mansell’s passion for firefighting and for his community is evident.

“The chief is a good person, a family man, and he treats us all as family, not just as coworkers,” explained Gentry. “He really puts in the time and effort. He’s very deserving of this honor.”

Russellville Fire Capt. Randy Seal echoed the sentiments.

“I’ve worked with the chief my entire career, since before he was even chief,” Seal said. “He’s always striving to grow the department. He’s very committed and dedicated, and he still works every day toward trying to improve and be better able to serve the community.”

Russellville firefighter Shawn Hines agreed the award is well-deserved. “He’s a great chief and a great leader.”