Natchez fire chief candidate list narrowed down to 6

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

NATCHEZ — Some 20 applicants have thrown their hats into the ring of fire.

Only one will be named the next Natchez fire chief, though.

After interviewing all applicants, the Natchez Civil Service Commission has narrowed the list of contenders down to six.

Email newsletter signup

Three of those applicants are Natchez Fire Department employees.

Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said he, along with the board of aldermen, will begin interviewing the six applicants Tuesday.

By the board’s next meeting on July 14, Brown said he expects the city to announce the next fire chief.

“If none of the applicants from the first short list are good, we’ll have to go back and get another short list from the civil service commission,” Brown said.

While the city is without a fire chief, Brown said the department will be led by its four battalion chiefs — David Williams, Chris Gibson, Aaron Wesley and Leland Rymer.

“We have good battalion chiefs, so they will be managing their battalions until this time next week,” Brown said.

Members of the civil service commission include Dante Weir, Robert McNeely and J.W. Seibert.

The commission is in charge of interviewing any applicants for the city police and fire departments.

“They handle their job well, and I’m confident they’ve given us a good list,” Brown said.

Oliver Stewart served as the city’s previous fire chief.

Stewart retired Tuesday after 35 years of service to the Natchez Fire Department.