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Leadership of fire departments split

By Walter Geiger With fire chief Steve Andrews battling pancreatic cancer, the leadership of Barnesville- Lamar County’s two fire departments has been split. Andrews worked as full-time chief with the city department and part-time chief of the county department. The departments trained together and responded to calls as a combined unit. With Andrews out, that has changed. Milo Wimberly has come out of retirement to lead the city department as interim chief, according to mayor Peter Banks. ’Steve is taking sick leave and talking about retiring. We need somebody at our fire department to be chief so Milo is coming out of retirement to do that,’ Banks said last week. County commission chairman Charles Glass reported Andrews resigned his county post and the county has accepted that resignation. ‘We are appointing a part-time chief for the county. We have spoken to that individual but we have not made anything official yet so we are not ready to announce a name until our meeting on May 17,’ Glass said. Assistant chief Douglas Matthews is currently running the county department in Andrews’ absence. Both Glass and Banks said there will be no changes made to the mutual aid agreement both departments operate under. ’We look forward to continuing the same level of support and cooperation to the county and hope for the same level of support and cooperation from them,’ Banks said. ’I do not anticipate any changes to the way the city and county fire departments work together,’ Glass echoed. Banks said the city has always had a fulltime fire chief and that will continue. He expects renewed recruitment efforts to enhance fire service in the city. ’We have always had a Barnesville fire department and that’s what we want to continue. Milo will do it until we get somebody. We want Steve back if he is able. We love Steve but we need someone in the interim,’ Banks concluded.

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