From the West Alabama Newsroom–

The Selma Fire Department has a new leader. We caught up with the new fire chief  Tuesday morning — and he shared his vision for the future of the department.

Chief Willie Mason, Jr is a 19 year veteran of the Selma Fire Department — who has steadily risen through the ranks — before being chosen to lead the department by the city council.

“Started off as a fire fighter. You know got promoted to sergeant. Then eventually got promoted to captain. The I got promoted to training officer. Became assistant fire marshal. And now the newly elected fire chief,” he said.

Mason takes the reigns of the department — at a time when it’s severely understaffed.

Wal Sfdnewchief Fox Pkg“54 should get us at full staff. But we’re currently now around 19 firefighters.”

And Mason says the lack of manpower — is the cause for most of the challenges — facing the department.

“My hat goes off to the guys. And we talk about leadership in the fire service, leadership is important but follow-ship has been good,” said Mason.

“The guys, the men continuously sacrifice their services day in and day out, and make sure the citizens are safe.”

Mason says his short-term goal is maintaining the city’s ISO rating. And his long-term goal — is making Selma Fire and Rescue — into the best fire department — it can be.

“We got a long road ahead of us, but with God Almighty, you know, we can do it.”

The Selma city Council appointed Mason fire chief last Thursday.

Anyone interested in becoming a fire fighter — call (334) 874-2150.

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