Local News

Oxford seeks new fire chief

Posted January 20, 2009

— The town is looking for a new fire chief, but officials declined to say why the previous chief left.

Fire Chief Lanny Dillehay's employment with the town ended Friday after seven years, officials said. He had been linked to the Oxford Fire Department for three decades.

Police Chief John Wolford will double as interim fire chief until a permanent replacement is chosen, officials said.


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  • firecaptain2000 Jan 21, 2009

    Readytogo... AMEN! Presuming the fire chief has had no medical training beyond CPR and first-aid, you won't hear any argument out of me.

    Although, I do think department head positions should be reserved for folks who have made themselves a student of their specific discipline rather than branching out to get a taste of all there is out there. Let's be honest, anyone in the Fire, EMS or Police field knows there is no way they can ever learn all there is to know about their own discipline, much less one(s) they have dabbled in on the side just for part-time work or for a change in scenery. What they end up amounting to is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

  • firecaptain2000 Jan 21, 2009

    ladinblue72... You are correct, but I know of no firefighters who are trained as "sworn officers" except those who are part of joint ventures where police and fire departments jointly own a helicopter, etc. Even so, that training is not likely to be at the department head level especially in such a small town. Regardless, I still think there were much better candidates to pick from. I speculate potential problems would only arise if the police chief tried to act as the operations officer at a fire related incident. I have no reason to doubt he/she couldn't perform well as the top administrator and incident commander. I just find it interesting that everyone presumes a cop can fill in as a firefighter anytime, yet I am confident the PBA and other LE watch groups would cry foul if the shoe were on the other foot.

  • cragan Jan 21, 2009

    I am from Roxboro and our police chief and sherriff both were once a firefighter so that could be the case here

  • Fx432 Jan 21, 2009

    firecaptain 2000, that's any different from a fire chief being in charge of EMS when the closest they have ever been to patient care is walking by an ambulance? What does a career firefighter know about being a paramedic when all most have had was a basic first-aid class!

  • ladyinblue72 Jan 21, 2009

    Actually in some departments police chiefs are also trained in fire and vice versa. I am not saying this is the case in this one but it could be...

  • firecaptain2000 Jan 21, 2009

    This makes absolutely no sense! Excluding a "Public Safety Director", does anyone know if a Fire Chief has ever been asked to "double as interim chief" while a suitable Police Chief was found?

    God love the police officers they are among my family and closest friends, but what does a career cop know about the strategy and tactics of firefighting? Isn't there a chain of command in the Oxford Fire Department? There has to be a subordinate chief such as a Deputy or Assistant Chief who would be much more qualified to fill this position temporarily.

    I hope they are only requesting the cop to do administrative type of work for the fire department. If not, and someone gets hurt at the cop's direction during an incident, this won't be the last story on WRAL about the Oxford Fire Department.