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James hired as Augusta fire chief

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 4:01 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 12:28 AM
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Chris James can officially do away with the title of interim fire chief.

James  Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Emily Rose Bennett/Staff

Eight Augusta Commission members voted Monday to hire James as permanent chief of the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department. James, who has served on an interim basis since the September resignations of four in the department's upper ranks, was recommended over two other finalists by City Administrator Fred Russell.

Since his appointment, James has worked closely with Deputy Administrator Bill Shanahan to implement a departmental restructuring and address other issues associated with former department leadership.

The 8-0 vote took place during a special commission meeting not attended by Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles or Commissioner Corey Johnson. James received a standing ovation from those attending the meeting.

Russell said he wanted the vote on James to come sooner than the next regularly scheduled commission meeting Feb. 7 so he could continue a conversation with Glenn Jones, another fire chief finalist, about coming to work in Augusta emergency management.

James is a 25-year veteran fire employee who started with Richmond County fire department before consolidation. He has a master's degree in business administration from Brenau University and has served as training chief since the early 2000s.

Though the vote gives James the job, his salary as chief is not yet set, Russell said. Former Fire Chief Howard Willis’ salary was $101,383.

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seenitB4 01/31/12 - 08:37 am
Well good news....someone

Well good news....someone local....knows Augusta---the Power brokers--the firemen....I wish him well..

David Parker
David Parker 01/31/12 - 11:09 am
Good luck sir.

Good luck sir.

Riverman1 01/31/12 - 11:11 am
Good luck, Chief. Keep

Good luck, Chief. Keep leading the way you have been.

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