Deputy Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough has been appointed interim fire chief for the Gainesville department, Gainesville City Manager Kip Padgett announced Friday.
“It’s a privilege, you know, that they take confidence in me to carry on this department,” Yarbrough said. “It’s something I’ve worked toward my whole career, and I am prepared. The Gainesville Fire Department works like a machine anyway, and everything will carry on the same.”
Yarbrough has been employed with the city for 28 years and is a Georgia EMT-I. He has served in the Fire Prevention division since 1997 as a fire inspector and arson investigator. He served as fire marshal before being named deputy fire chief in August 2008.
“I’m grateful for Chief Yarbrough’s willingness to assume the duties,” Padgett said. “I think his experience and years of service at the department will allow the department to continue its seamless operations.”
Padgett said there is no timeline to fill the position permanently, but “it will be a competitive process opened to both inside and outside applicants.”
Yarbrough said he is interested in applying for the permanent position. He doesn’t anticipate any changes during his tenure.
“There shouldn’t be any changes,” he said. “We have everything in place to carry on until the search is completed.”
Yarbrough is a Gainesville High School graduate and attended Lanier Technical College. He served in the U.S. Army for 24 years with six years of active duty and 18 years in the Army Reserve as a staff sergeant.
He is a member of the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs, Georgia State Firefighters Association, National Fire Protection Association and the International Fire Marshal’s Association.
“I welcome the challenge,” said Yarbrough. “We have a good department here, one of the best in the state.