Burdette applies for Pell City fire chief position
by David Atchison
PELL CITY — Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burdette has applied for the fire chief’s position.

Burdette was the only city employee to apply for the vacant position. He is currently serving as interim fire chief, and was appointed to that position last month at the recommendation of the former fire chief, current City Manager Patrick Draper.

Last week, the Pell City Council unanimously approved posting the fire chief’s position in-house. The job was posted Nov. 27, and was closed at 5 p.m. Monday.

Burdette has served as a firefighter for almost 25 years, 22 of those with the Pell City Fire Department.

In 2011, Burdette was appointed as the Fire Department’s fire marshal.

He is a 1998 graduate of the police academy at Jacksonville State University and is APOST certified, which means he has arresting powers as an arson investigator.

Burdette also oversees the city’s fire prevention and inspection program.

He has an associate degree from Gadsden State Community College in emergency medical services.

Burdette was appointed assistant chief in January. He was appointed interim fire chief Nov. 5 by the new administration at its organizational meeting, after Draper recommended him.

Although the city manager is responsible for hiring city employees, the council appoints the fire chief, police chief and utility department head.

“I think Burdette is fully qualified for the job,” Draper said Monday. “He’s had plenty of experience with the department, obviously.”

He said Burdette could be the first firefighter in the department to come up through the ranks to become fire chief.

“I do feel like it would send a strong message that you can advance through the ranks here,” Draper said.

He said the mayor and members of the council would interview Burdette at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the job description for the fire chief, a bachelor’s degree in fire science, public administration, business or related field is preferred, but not required.

“The city manager, mayor and council may determine in their discretion that an applicant by virtue of education, training and/or experience possesses the equivalent of any particular job requirement,” the job description states.

The new fire chief is required to have proper state certification as a firefighter I & II, Instructor I & II and proper state certification as an arson investigator.

The new fire chief will oversee the operation of four fire stations with about 40 employees.

The salary range for the fire chief is $52,395-$69,909.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

© 2012