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Top three officials with Spencer Fire Department resigning

By Steve Huffman
shuffman@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó The top three officials with the Spencer Fire Department are resigning.
The resignations of Fire Chief Jay Baker, Assistant Chief Terry Smith and Capt. Tony Bean were announced at Tuesday’s meeting of the Spencer Board of Aldermen. Baker said he’d been considering resigning from the Spencer department for several years and said his recent promotion to battalion chief with the Salisbury Fire Department helped him finalize his decision.
Baker works full time for the Salisbury Fire Department and part time in Spencer where he lives.
“I’ll be around,” he said. “I’m only a phone call away if I’m needed.”
Baker has served as fire chief since July 2002, and also served as chief from 1998-1999.
Baker said his son, Thomas, is a rising senior at North Rowan High School, and said he wants to make sure he gets to see him play soccer and baseball this year.
“I just didn’t have the time to do everything I wanted to do,” he said.
Smith said much the same. In addition to serving as Spencer’s assistant chief, he has worked three years as Salisbury’s fire marshal. Smith has been with the Spencer Fire Department for 15 years.
Smith also coaches Little League baseball and all-star teams. He was head coach of the Spencer 9-to-10-year-old all-stars, a team whose members recently defended their N.C. District 2 All-Star Tournament title.
“I just didn’t have time to devote to the fire department,” Smith said of the reason for his resignation. “The main thing was the time crunch. It was time I let some of the younger guys take over.”
Baker said it will be up to Spencer Town Manager Larry Smith to name a new fire chief. Baker said the chief will then decide how to go about naming an assistant chief and captain.

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