Smithfield Names New Fire Chief

The Town of Smithfield has announced the hiring of a new fire chief. Mike Brown of Wilson will begin work as Smithfield Fire Chief on September 22, 2021. He will replace John Blanton who recently retired.

Chief Brown recently served as the Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Wilson Fire Department, after previously moving up through the ranks from Firefighter to Battalion Chief. In his role, he assisted with the management of all department operations, training, and logistics, and was directly responsible for budgeting, accreditation, strategic planning, and engagement with internal and external stakeholders on behalf of the department.

Chief Brown has over 35 years of municipal and volunteer fire service. Chief Brown has broad experience and a proven track record in assisting fire departments plan for emerging changes in the profession. He received a Chief Fire Officer Designation in 2020, a Master’s Degree in Fire Service Leadership in 2010, and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program.

Chief Brown’s starting salary is $99,507 and he will receive a five percent salary increase beginning in July of 2022, following his probationary period. He has declined being in the Town’s health insurance pool.

“We are delighted to bring Chief Brown to the Smithfield Fire Department and to Smithfield government operations and look forward to him serving our citizens,” Town Manager Mike Scott.