KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – The search is on for a new Kingsport Fire Department chief.
After more than three decades with the department, current chief Craig Dye will retire at the end of this week.
Kingsport City Manager Jeff Fleming says Assistant Chief Scott Boyd will manage the department in the interim. That starts after Chief Craig Dye’s last day this Friday.
Tuesday afternoon, city leaders and the fire department honored Dye’s 34 years of service and 14 years as Chief.
Dye said his career began when he saw a firefighter classifieds ad in the newspaper and applied.
“First shift we had a fire in downtown Kingsport… it was a major fire and I’m just like ‘oh my gosh, this is wild,”’ Chief Dye said. “After that I was just, really I know this is what I want to do. It’s helping people.”
Now as dye prepares for his last day on Friday, the city is also preparing for a new chief.
City manager Jeff Fleming says they’re only reviewing internal candidates.
The University of Tennessee will conduct an Assessment Center, reviewing the applicants and taking them through mock exercises and scenarios.
Then, the city will hire the new chief for a salary ranging between $74,000 $106,000.
We wanted to see how that faired with the rest of the Tri-Cities.
Johnson City’s Fire Chief has a base salary around $98,000. Bristol, Tennessee’s is between $74,000 and $118,000 and Bristol, Virginia’s Fire Chief makes about $86,000.
Back at Fire Station One, Dye gets ready for the next step.
“Family. Spend more time with the family,” he said.
Still, he’s not letting go of his passion. He’ll volunteer at the Kingsport Life Saving Crew.
And he has a message for whoever comes next.
“You be good to these people here at this department, and they’ll make you look good. They’re top notch,” said Dye.
The city hopes to have a new fire chief in place by early next year.
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