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3 finalists named for fire chief

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The city of Covington has three finalists in the search for a new fire chief.

The finalists are David Carter, deputy fire chief and fire marshal for the Covington Fire Department; John J. McNeil, retired deputy fire chief with Atlanta Fire Rescue and former director of Rockdale County Emergency Services Department; and Winston D. Williams, retired deputy district chief with the Chicago Fire Department.

"If you look at all three, their career paths pretty much mirror each other. They pretty much started at a lower rank and worked up to the deputy chief level," Human Resources Director Ronnie Cowan said.

Carter has more than 30 years experience in public and private fire organizations and has been with the Covington Fire Department since 1993. He has served as deputy fire chief and fire marshal since 2004.

McNeil retired from the city of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department after 27 years. He served as deputy fire chief for the Technical Services Division from 2005-07 and is the past chairman of the board of directors for Atlanta Fire Foundation Inc. He also served as director of Rockdale County's Emergency Services Department from 2009-10. His position was eliminated due to budget cuts.

Williams retired from the Chicago Fire Department after 30 years. He was deputy district chief there for five years.

The city received more than 50 applications. Only those with Georgia certifications were considered. Applicants were narrowed down to 12 and then to four finalists. One finalist dropped out of the running after accepting another job. The salary range for the job is $62,296 to $83,491, depending on qualifications.

City Manager Steve Horton will make the appointment and is expected to announce his decision at the April 18 council meeting.

Fire Chief Don Floyd announced his retirement earlier this year. Floyd's last day on the job will be June 15, although his last date of employment will be Dec. 31.

"I have enough leave accrued for those days -- sick leave and annual leave," Floyd previously told the Citizen. "The city manager has asked me to remain on board for a couple of months during the transition period for the new chief."