New Laurinburg Fire Chief Randy Gibson has seen many changes during his 20-year career with the Laurinburg Fire Department, but he says that one thing has remained constant.
“We have a great staff,” said Gibson after being sworn in by Mayor Tommy Parker during a city council meeting Tuesday night.
Gibson started work with the Laurinburg Police Department in telecommunications 23 years ago before taking a full time position with the fire department three years later. Gibson worked his way up from there to inspector and then to lieutenant/chief fire inspector, the role which he filled up until his appointment to interim fire chief earlier this year.
In assuming the fire department’s highest office, Gibson will replace John Evans, who announced his retirement last December. Evans also served as police chief.
According to city Human Resources Director Amy Martin, Gibson’s knowledge of the city’s fire department along with his qualifications and continued training made his resume stand out among all the others when he was being considered for the role of permanent fire chief.
Asked after his swearing in if there was anyone with a more comprehensive knowledge of the workings of the Laurinburg Fire Department than him, Gibson said quietly: “Probably not.”
And while he also said that he was “absolutely excited” to have been hired as chief, Gibson is not stopping to celebrate.
“I’m motivated to work with staff within the fire department on training and preparedness and trying to find ways to provide additional services through new fire prevention programs and injury prevention programs,” said Gibson, running through a list of programs that he is ready to initiate as the chief.
Child passenger safety is one of Gibson’s first priorities as the new chief, with plans to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of child safety seats inside of vehicles.
During his time as interim fire chief Gibson brought on three new part time fire engineers, adding to a staff which he says is “in great shape right now.”
“We’ve also done some recruitment of new volunteers as well,” Gibson said when asked about his efforts to expand the volunteer base that the department depends on.
Not willing to miss an opportunity to fulfill the oath that he took only moments before, Gibson added: “And we are always looking to recruit new volunteer fire fighters. If you live in the city of Laurinburg or inside Scotland County and you have an interest, contact me at the fire department.”
Gibson can be reached at 276-1811.