Hattiesburg Fire Chief retiring

Hattiesburg Fire Chief retiring

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A career that spanned more than 20 years at the Hattiesburg Fire Department is coming to an end for Paul Presley. WDAM has confirmed the fire chief is retiring. His last day will be Dec. 29.

"Chief Paul Presley has been an essential part of the Hattiesburg Fire Department for more than two decades. His career stands as a testament to current and future firefighters on what one person can accomplish when they commit themselves fully to our department," said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. "Both our department and our city are better because Chief Presley was here. We appreciate his leadership, and we wish him well in his retirement."

Barker said the search for a new fire chief will begin immediately.

"Our administration will move quickly to find the right leader for the Hattiesburg Fire Department," said Barker. "Our vision for the city includes a fire department with high morale, an additional fire station on Highway 49 North and a career ladder and pay scale that can optimally recruit and retain good firefighters."

Presley joined the Hattiesburg Fire Department in 1993. He became the department's first African American fire chief in 2014.