City approves temporary fire department promotions

In its regular meeting Jan. 17, the Russellville City Council approved the following temporary appointments, for a period of three months, in the Russellville Fire Department:

  • Andy Devaney, from sergeant to lieutenant.
  • Jeremy Glenn, from lieutenant to captain.
  • Mickey Gentry, from sergeant to lieutenant.
  • Bryan Sutton, from firefighter to firefighter II – sergeant

RFD Deputy Chief Randy Seal explained the temporary appointments were originally done in October 2022 to fill in for firefighters on leave for medical procedures and recovery time.

“Since it’s an extended period of time, we bump others up so we can keep people in charge in those positions while they’re out,” he explained. “The department has three lieutenants; one of them was out, so we offered temporary employment to the other two. One declined, and the other accepted.

“We have several sergeant positions, and to make it fair, we offer the opportunities to each of them. The first two had already served in the lieutenant position for three months, and we offered the chance to the next two,” he continued. Seal said one declined, and the other accepted.

Seal said the system makes it fair for everybody to have a chance to be in those positions and see what it’s like to serve in different roles.

“Lieutenants are second in command on each shift,” he explained, “and a sergeant fills in in an officer’s capacity if either the lieutenant or captain is out.”

Seal said this allows the chance to see what it’s like to handle the responsibilities required at the next level.

“Everything stayed the same except for that one position,” added Seal, “and we swapped Sgt. Watkins out for Sgt. Devaney. Devaney will serve as lieutenant for the next three months, or until we have somebody come back in.” Seal said medically, the timeframe is at least until March, when doctor visits will determine if those officers are ready to return.

Seal said those serving in the temporary positions so far have “done a great job.” He noted one benefit of operating this way is helping them to learn to work with different people.

“Most of these positions require moving shifts,” he explained. “We have three shifts – A, B and C. Some from B shift went to A shift, and this time, some from C shift are moving to B shift, and vice versa.”

Seal expressed his confidence in the abilities of the members of the RFD firefighting team, noting they work well together.

“The guys going into those positions have a lot of experience in the filed already, and they’ve seen what the responsibilities are, so we’re real confident in any of them taking on the more advanced positions. They’ll do a good job,” he added. “It shouldn’t be a problem for any of them going into the temporary assignments.”

The next regular meeting of the Russellville City Council will be Feb. 6, 2023, with the work session at 6 p.m., and the meeting held after. Meetings take place in City Hall.

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