Two more candidates were added this week for consideration by Hall County officials searching for a new fire chief.
Hall County administrator Jock Connell told The Times on Tuesday, Aug. 7, that he and senior staff had narrowed the search to four candidates.
Since then, county spokeswoman Katie Crumley said two more people have been added to the pool.
“Over the past couple of days, they just felt like this was such a big important decision that they didn’t want to limit their pool. As (Connell) explained to me, these were two that maybe were a little bit on the fence as far as whether or not they should be interviewed, and they decided to make it just as broad as possible in order to get the best candidate,” Crumley said.
No new information was provided about the candidates as the county declined to release the names earlier this week.
Connell said the county started with about 50 applications to fill the position vacated by former Chief Jeff Hood, who resigned Oct. 31.
When asked to confirm or deny if there were any internal candidates for consideration, Connell said, “I can confirm we have four candidates.”
Former Fire Chief David Kimbrell was relieved of command in August 2014 after a training incident with a ladder truck injured three firefighters. Kimbrell then became Emergency Management Agency director, and Hood took over the position of fire chief.
In October, Kimbrell was fired from his position with the Emergency Management Agency after illicit videos of him with a subordinate within the department were found.
Connell said the candidates have a “strong background in fire and emergency service.”
“They appear to have all the credentials that would qualify them to at least meet the criteria to run a department the size of one that Hall County has,” Connell previously told The Times.
After knocking the stack of applicants down to a dozen, county officials sent these contenders a series of questions so Connell and others could evaluate their responses.
Connell did not provide an example of what type of questions were sent. The Times has filed an open records request for this information.
Connell previously told The Times he hoped to have the position filled by Sept. 1, but he said Tuesday, Aug. 7, that it could be closer to mid-September based on the chosen candidate’s current employment circumstances.