East Spencer hires new fire chief

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2012

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
EAST SPENCER — Town officials have named a Salisbury firefighter as the new chief of the East Spencer Fire Department.
Shawn McBride, a captain with the Salisbury Fire Department, began his duties as fire chief on Tuesday.
The Salisbury resident said he plans keep his current full-time position while working part time in East Spencer.
“I’m ecstatic and very excited about working with the guys from East Spencer,” he said in a phone interview Thursday. “I’ve met several of them so far, and they are a tight group of people that’s opened up their department to me.”
McBride said he hopes to “bring respect back to the East Spencer Fire Department.”
He will be the town’s fourth fire chief in two years.
The last chief, Shane Cranfield, was dismissed in January.
Rowan County Sheriff’s investigators say Cranfield and Assistant Chief Allen Carlyle repeatedly shocked a junior firefighter with a stun gun at a Christmas party.
Carlyle was told not to return to the fire department, town officials said. Both were charged with misdemeanor assault.
Previously, Carlyle served as fire chief from March through October 2010, when he stepped down but continued to volunteer with the department. He had replaced Darin Dearth, who was appointed as chief in April 2009 and resigned in February 2010.
East Spencer announced the appointment of a new fire chief by the Town Board of Aldermen in a press release sent Thursday.
“We are blessed to have this position occupied by someone with Shawn McBride’s credentials and reputation,” said Mayor Barbara Mallett in the press release.
Town Administrator Macon Sammons Jr. said McBride’s experience and his track record of teamwork and dedication, along with his ability to work with local public safety officials and people in the community, were keys to his appointment.
McBride is a business graduate of Catawba College and a six-year member of the Salisbury Fire Department.
He said his goals include increasing firefighter training and enabling East Spencer to run mutual aid calls with other fire departments.
“I want to be able to open the doors up to the public,” McBride said, “to let the public know that we have a fire department in East Spencer, and that we’re there to serve them — not just the town, but the community.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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