FORT MILL — Jeffrey Hooper of Chesnee has been named Fort Mills new fire chief. He begins Oct. 28, replacing former Fire Chief Ken Kerber.
Fort Mill focused its search on finding a fire chief with experience in emergency services and strategic planning. Town leaders also said it's important to find the right person to supervise the completion of a new fire station.
We met with a variety of candidates who would be an asset to the Fort Mill Fire Department, but Jeffrey stood out, said Town Manager Dennis Pieper in a prepared statement. His experience will be invaluable as the town continues to grow. I also want to thank Interim Chief Chapman for the leadership he exhibited during the transition.
I am looking forward to tackling the challenges a growing area like Fort Mill presents, Hooper said in a press release. I have heard great things about the Fort Mill Fire Department and I look forward to joining the team.
A South Carolina native, Hooper began his firefighting career in the Spartanburg area. Prior to accepting the position in Fort Mill, Hooper worked as fire chief in the town of Weaverville, N.C. There he oversaw paid and volunteer staff, designed and supervised the completion of a $4.2 million dollar fire station and insured OSHA safety compliance for the town.
Hooper holds the designation as a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) and an Associate Safety and Health Manager (ASHM) along with various state certifications and federal training. He also has over 25 years in the emergency services field, including fire, EMS and law enforcement.
He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health and will complete a Master of Science in Emergency Services Management in 2014.
Prior to Hooper's selection, Fort Mill narrowed down the search for fire chief to three finalists. Jerry Chapman of Fort Mill and C. Drummond Figg of Morehead City, N.C., were the other contenders.