Jackson County Fire Chief, Toney Wesley, is retiring from his fire duties next week on December 31st. For months Jackson County Commissioners have been on a nation wide search to find the most qualified candidate to fill Wesley's roll. Last week they picked the man for the job.
Scott Birge was Fire Marshal and Assistant Chief of Marianna Fire and Rescue. Due to his lengthy fire fighting career and variety of jobs he has held in the field. Birge is an ideal candidate to help set Jackson County Fire and Rescue on a prosperous track. Birge is from Jackson County and very familiar with the area and needs of the community.
The chief is also bringing experience to the county, Birge has been firefighting since 1991. He has worked all aspects of the field, from maintenance; to training and administration Birge believes he has a great understanding of all aspects of the job. His main priority is to improve insurance ratings in the county and create a one, three and five year plan to improve all four fire stations.
After working with Birge the past year, Marianna Fire Chief Nicky Lovett is confident he will improve the program, "Whenever he makes a decision, he he'll have Jackson County Citizens in the forefront and like I said I can't say enough about his character and what he did for Marianna Fire and Rescue. Like I said, even though he is going to be across the way, we are still going to miss him."
Birge will officially be the Jackson County Fire Chief on January 1st. The Jackson County Commission approved his yearly salary at $56,000.