Originally created 05/12/00

Fire chief open to D.C. offer



Richmond County Fire Chief Ronnie Few doesn't know if he's one of three final candidates for the fire chief job in Washington, but he is willing to listen to offers, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Washington officials have shown interest in Chief Few in the past month as a candidate to fill the city's fire chief position, said Katrice Bryant, public information officer for the Richmond County Fire Department.

Ms. Bryant did not know how extensively Chief Few has talked with Washington officials, and he would not comment on his level of interest in the position.

"He says that he can't say anything until something is offered to him," she said.

Ms. Bryant said reports from local and Washington television stations that Chief Few was in the nation's capital Wednesday are false. Chief Few was in Atlanta obtaining information and equipment for an EMS training program to be taught in the Richmond County Fire Department, she said.

Chief Few is honored to be under consideration for the Washington position, but he still believes he has a lot to accomplish in Augusta, Ms. Bryant said.

Peggy Armstrong, spokeswoman for Washington Mayor Anthony Williams, would not confirm whether Chief Few was one of three final candidates presented to Mr. Williams this week by a search committee.

At a news conference Thursday, Mr. Williams said he did not have a front-runner for the position, Ms. Armstrong said.

Former Detroit Deputy Fire Chief Greg Love and New York EMS Deputy Chief Paul Maniscalo round out the list of search committee candidates, according to earlier media reports.

Mr. Williams did say that he may make a decision on the fire chief next week, Ms. Armstrong said.

Augusta Mayor Bob Young said it would be a loss for the city if Chief Few were to leave, but he understood the career opportunity he would have.

"I think there is a mixed feeling when somebody says they want to leave because you want to keep good people," he said. "But you also have to be happy for someone who has the opportunity for career advancement with a job in a bigger city.

"I think it reflects very well on the city of Augusta for our fire chief to be considered for such a job."

Reach Mark Mathis at (706) 823-3227 or marmathis@yahoo.com.