The Cedartown Fire Department now has a new Fire Chief with the unanimous approval of the city commission.
Chief Felix White took on the badge and duties of chief with his appointment by the commission on May 13.
“This has been passed on from Chief to Chief,” retiring Chief Darrell “Scooter” Stephens said when he took off his badge and handed it over to White during a ceremony after the vote to approve White’s new tenure.
It continued a tradition of providing blessings and well wishes for the incoming chief of the department in a profession fraught with dangers day or night, no matter the weather.
“I’d like to say I’m a pretty smart guy by making this recommendation, but it doesn’t really take a lot of brains to make this one,” City Manager Bill Fann said in introducing then Assistant Chief White’s nomination as the new Fire Chief for the City of Cedartown.
Fann said the recommendation was based purely off the merits of White’s long career with the Cedartown Fire Department. His tenure includes a stint at the Rockmart Fire Department.
White joined the department in September 1994 as a certified firefighter and EMT. He’d worked at the Rockmart Fire Department prior to that, along with Rome Medical Transport.
He worked his way through the ranks and was appointed in 2005 as a Lieutenant, Captain in 2012, and then as Batallion Chief in 2015. His service as Assistant Chief began in January this year.
Since the beginning of the year, White finished his Associate’s degree work in Fire Science and obtained professional certifications. With his appointment during the Cedartown Commission’s May meeting, White will officially take over as chief as of June 1 and move out of an acting role following the retirement of Chief Darrell “Scooter” Stephens during the same session.
One of White’s children also serves with the Cedartown Police.
White kept his remarks brief upon the traditional passing of the badge from Stephens, and thanked his family for their patience and understanding during a career that has taken him away from home day and night.
He thanked Commissioners and Fann for the opportunity to serve in the department’s lead role.
“In 1994, I never dreamed that I would be standing where I am. I’m proof that anything is possible, especially when you have parents like mine who will never give up on you,” White said.
He added specific thanks to his wife “who has always been there beside me, even at times when I had to get up and leave like Chief Stephens. We have to leave our family to fend for themselves. I like to thank you for all that you’ve done.”