Elizabethton Fire Department names new Deputy Fire Chief

Published 8:17 am Tuesday, October 23, 2018

After Rusty Barnett left the Fire Department on August 31 to become Carter County Mayor, the Fire Department has been searching for a new Deputy Fire Chief. Now, after almost two months of the position being vacant, Batallion Chief Steve Murray began his first day of work yesterday as Deputy Fire Chief.

“I am blessed beyond belief for the opportunity to serve,” Murray said.

Fire Chief Barry Carrier said filling the position normally takes a few days of interviewing and background checks, but recent personnel policy changes convinced him to hold off until all the changes were in place.

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“Policies were changing in the middle of the process,” Carrier said. “So I intentionally waited on filling the position until everyone knew what the new policies were. It would not be fair to bring someone on without knowledge of the new rules.”

Murray said his first day was “very busy,” but he said it was time for the change.

“Any level is a great job here,” Murray said. “But it was time to move up.”

Carrier said they try to do promotions exclusively in-house, and they first look to the next lowest rank to promote and fill the vacant spot.

“We have so many good boys here who deserve promotions,” he said. “We try to be fair and keep everything in-house.”

Carrier said the interview process itself has three stages: a written test, a formal interview and a background check.

This time around, Police Chief Jason Shaw assisted Carrier in the interview process.

Murray said he is still figuring out what his long-terms goals are as Deputy Fire Chief, but he is currently assisting Carrier with his duties as he settles into his new position.

“We will always miss Rusty,” Carrier said. “Steve is a 25-year veteran of this department. He is very smart, very energetic, and I trust his judgment on the fireground.”