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ECFD's deputy fire chief to retire

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Fire Chief Candidate Barry Overman, Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

After three decades with the Elizabeth City Fire Department, Deputy Fire Chief Barry Overman will be retiring at the end of the year, City Manager Rich Olson reported Friday.

Overman, 49, is the deputy fire chief of fire administration and his retirement is effective Jan. 1, Olson said.

According to Olson, Overman started with the department as a trainee in 1988, and rose through the ranks to become an engineer in 1994 and then fire marshal for Pasquotank and Camden counties in 1998.

Overman also vied to become fire chief earlier this year, but Olson chose Corey Mercer, of Rocky Mount, to succeed retired chief Larry Mackey.

Overman could not be reached for comment last week or on Monday.

Mercer praised Overman for his service, and said he didn’t expect Overman’s retirement so soon, though he knew he had served 30 years.

“I was shocked and the rest of the organization was surprised too,” Mercer said, adding he believes Overman is considering pursuing a fire career with the state of North Carolina.

Though Mercer’s only been fire chief since this spring, he said Overman’s “stamp” is on everything at the fire department. As deputy chief of fire administration, Overman has handled numerous tasks including fire prevention efforts, such as fire inspections, and grant-writing.

He also said Overman has served with numerous fire organizations in the state, helping keep the city “in the loop.”

Asked about the vacancy Overman will create, Mercer said the fire department will probably conduct a national search to fill his position as deputy fire chief of fire administration.

Overman also has served two four-year terms as a member of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education. Overman decided not to seek re-election this fall to his Outside City seat on the non-partisan school board. Instead, he’s running as a Republican for one of two open at-large seats on the Pasquotank Board of Commissioners.

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