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Fire Rescue chief finalists to face firefighters, public at forums

Jennifer Ffrench-Parker | 12/6/2013, 6:01 a.m.

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Teresa Everett

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Darnell Fullum

— Firefighters and residents will get to pepper the two finalists for DeKalb County Fire Rescue chief job at two separate forums on Dec. 9 and 10.

Teresa Everett, the Gary, Ind., fire chief, and Darnell Fullum, Fulton County deputy fire chief, will face Fire Rescue personnel from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 9 at Fire Rescue Tucker headquarters.

On Dec. 10, the general public gets its turn from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Maloof Auditorium.

Everett and Fullum were picked as finalists after a national search launched in August netted 110 applications.

The county’s fire chief position was left vacant with the retirement of Chief Eddie O’Brien on Nov. 1.

Everett and Fullum were among seven applicants interviewed by a panel that included a mayor from a DeKalb city and a member of the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. The panel referred the top candidates to interim CEO Lee May, who picked the two finalists.

Everett, who has more than 15 years of fire and emergency services experience, has been Gary’s first female fire chief since 2012. She is no stranger to metro Atlanta. She was the city of College Park’s first female fire chief between October 2010 and January 2012.

Her fire and rescue career dates back to 1989 when she was director of firefighting training and administration with the Dade Fire Academy in Miami.

In between, she held positions with the U.S. Food Service, the Dade County Public Schools, Broward County Transit, YWCA of Greater Miami, Community Health of South Dade Inc., and her company, Everett Consulting Services.

Everett has managed budgets of $12 million and a department with 235 personnel, but her time in Gary has been eventful. A Sept. 13 Post Tribune report highlighted “a high level discord” between Everett and her Gary department’s rank and file over delayed promotions, aborted sick pay and confusion over sick leave.

Fullum, who has more than 26 years of experience, has spent his entire career with the Fulton Fire Department, which he joined in 1987 after a three-year stint in the Army. He has been the department’s deputy chief since June 2008. According to his resume, he’s experienced in developing and administering budgets in excess of $32.5 million and has worked in a department with 450 personnel.

Fire Rescue headquarters is at 1950 W. Exchange Place, and Maloof Auditorium is at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.