2013-08-14 / Front Page

McDonald named fire chief

New chief’s goals include strengthening role of volunteer firefighters

Blakely Fire Chief Randy McDonald Blakely Fire Chief Randy McDonald Veteran firefighter Randy McDonald has been named Blakely Fire Chief. McDonald is assuming the responsibilities of retiring chief, Kenneth Jones.

McDonald, a Blakely native and ECHS graduate, has been working with the Blakely Fire Department since 1982. He has been a captain the past 12 years.

“I thank the mayor and council for this opportunity,” Chief McDonald stated. “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the department. I work with a group of men who not only know how to do their jobs, they know how to do it well.”

“As their chief, I want to do everything I can to make sure they have everything they need to work,” McDonald said.

“He’s been with our fire department for over 30 years and he’s a good guy,” stated Mayor Anthony Howard. “And I think he wants to do a good job.”

“Everybody in the department does a great job. They go beyond the call of duty to help anybody,” the new chief stated. “We just want to save lives and protect property.”

Chief McDonald has a number of goals for the fire department. One that is foremost on his mind is encouraging the firefighters to participate in community service.

“I believe the most important thing any of us can do is encourage a young person to live up to his or her potential,” he stated. “Since so many kids look up to firefighters, it is impor- tant that we are visible out in the public so we can reach them.”

Some of the areas Chief McDonald plans to keep the department focused on include:

• maintaining the current Class 4 ISO insurance rating and working to improve it to a Class 3

• providing quality delivery of both emergency and non-emergency services to the citizens of Blakely and Early County

• improving the relationship between the city and county fire departments

• continuing fire education and prevention services

• upgrading our methods of firefighter training and drills

Another area Chief McDonald plans to focus his effort is helping build up the volunteer fire firefighter ranks.

“Over the past few years our list of volunteer firefighters has dwindled,” he stated. “We’ve got to get that volunteer force back up so we have that needed extra help for emergencies.”

Randy’s wife, Debbie, is a teacher at Early County High School. They have three children, Megan McMullen, Lindsey and Rand, and two granddaughters, Makayla and Maddie McMullen.

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