Fayetteville promotes top fire department leaders

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Fayetteville Fire Chief Alan Jones in 2017 photo.
Fayetteville Fire Chief Alan Jones in 2017 photo.

It was in September 1988 that Fire Chief Alan Jones began what became more than 33 years with the Fayetteville Fire Department. Today, he will concentrate his efforts as the city’s full-time Assistant City Manager. Another long-time firefighter, Deputy Chief Linda Black, will serve as interim Fire Chief.

Fayetteville spokesperson Ann Marie Burdett on Nov. 3 said Fire Chief Alan Jones has transitioned to become the City of Fayetteville’s full-time Assistant City Manager after 24 years as chief and after more than 33 years in the service, all of which were spent with the Fayetteville Fire Department.

Deputy Chief Linda Black, a 38-year fire service veteran, who has been with Fayetteville more than 25 years, has been named the city’s interim Fire Chief, Burdett said.

Burdett said Jones on Monday morning keyed up for the last time on dispatch radio as “901,” the designated call number for fire chief, and then he signed off and went “out of service.” Chief Black went out of service as “902,” the designated call number for deputy fire chief, and then she officially went in service as “901.”

Chief Black joined the Henry County Fire Department in 1983 as an emergency medical technician (EMT), and she soon became a firefighter. She then joined the Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency Services in 1987 as a Firefighter/Paramedic and was quickly promoted to lieutenant, said Burdett.

Black joined the Fayetteville Fire Department as the Fire Safety Educator in April 1996, and she was later promoted to Training Officer. When Jones was promoted to Interim Chief in October 1997, he promoted Black to the rank of Captain, which at that time also served as the Deputy Chief role, Burdett added.

“Since 2014, Jones served a dual role for the City of Fayetteville as both Fire Chief and Assistant City Manager. He will now focus fully on his Assistant City Manager role,” Burdett said.

Though stepping aside as chief to concentrate his efforts in another capacity, Jones centered his comments, not so much on the strides made in fire service during the ongoing growth and evolution of Fayetteville, but with the department in the future.

“I’m only the caretaker on behalf of the citizens,” said Jones. “There are many capable people in the department who will carry on and accomplish more as opportunities become available.”