12/11/06 — Alvin Ward named new Goldsboro fire chief

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Alvin Ward named new Goldsboro fire chief

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 11, 2006 1:45 PM

Once the application process, interviews and second visits were in the books, only the final decision on a new Goldsboro Fire Department chief was left to be made.

This morning, City Manager Joe Huffman announced he has hired Kinston native Alvin Ward to replace the retiring Bobby Greenfield.

"We had a really long list of qualified candidates and we couldn't have gone wrong," Huffman said. "But we really couldn't have done better than we did."

With 18 years of experience and the respect and admiration of his peers under his belt, Ward was "the right choice for Goldsboro," Huffman added.

"When we interviewed him, I was impressed," he said. "He seemed to have a great deal of interest, a high level of knowledge and a sense of professionalism about him."

Ward began his career in fire service in his hometown, Kinston, before putting life as a firefighter on the shelf to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. But after receiving his degree, something pulled him back in, he said.

He got a job with the fire department in Cary, worked as director of training for the Wake County Department of Public Safety and then accepted a position as training chief in Chapel Hill, where he serves currently, and will until the end of the year.

"I'm looking forward to coming back down east," Ward said, adding he will make the move with his wife and five children. "My mother still lives in Kinston so it will be good for us to be close to family."

But Goldsboro isn't only appealing because of its proximity to his birthplace, he added. The community just felt right when he toured it with officials last month.

"The smaller community environment impressed me," Ward said. "The fire houses are in the neighborhoods and one thing that I look to do is make the fire departments part of the neighborhoods."

He was also impressed with the state of affairs within the department -- the organization and friendly people. And so he plans to leave it much the same as he finds it when his hire becomes official Jan. 16.

"Chief Greenfield is leaving the department in a good position," Ward said. "We're not necessarily coming in to be making big changes -- just to bring in some new ideas."

Huffman said city residents should feel like a winner today. After all, he does.

"He really is going to be very good for the city of Goldsboro," he said. "I see him fitting perfectly. Are we talking about a team player? I think the answer is absolutely."