Dozier Volunteer Fire Department announces appointment of new fire chief

Published 2:48 am Sunday, October 9, 2022

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Chase Burnette was recently appointed as the new Fire Chief for the Dozier Volunteer Fire Department, a position opened when John Joyner, the previous fire chief, retired after almost 15 years of service.

Burnette, a member of the department since March 2007, said he is excited about his new rank, and he looks forward to building on what’s already been established within the organization.

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“Chief Joyner left some pretty big shoes to fill, but I am excited to begin in this new role,” Burnette said. “I want to just build on the strong foundation that John laid out. John has always gone above his role as chief and is consistently out in the community cutting grass or doing whatever he can to help our community in any way possible. John has been available day or night for any need. I just have to pick up the phone and call. I am happy that John will remain a member and be around to watch our department grow.”

According to Joyner, it took a lot of thought and deliberation to make the decision to step down as chief. However, Joyner said that Burnette is the perfect man for the job.

“We nominated and voted in a mighty fine young man to take the position,” Joyner said. “I can’t tell you just how proud I am of this man. I have watched him grow up and have had the privilege of working with him for many years in the fire department.”

“I am so excited for him and this new chapter in his life. Chase brings experience, knowledge, professionalism, devotion, and love for our community to the table and I am excited to be able to sit back a little and watch our fire department grow.”

Serving his hometown and being involved in a community that is supportive is what pushes Burnette to continue being a volunteer firefighter.

“This is a strong, tight-knit community that looks out for one another and I’m proud to be a part of it,” he said. “It is an honor to be called upon when our community needs help. A lot of our members are near retirement age and my main priority as fire chief for now is to increase membership. Being a member of the fire department is never boring, even when you think you’re caught up there’s always something that can be improved.”

“I enjoy the nature of the fire service and the diverse things we deal with. We don’t just fight fires. We respond during bad weather, car accidents, or anytime the community needs help. For the younger folks, it can look good on a resume, and I even know several people that started out as volunteer firefighters, and then were sent on to the Alabama Fire College and have made a career out of it.”

Burdette said one of his goals is to work with other community members as well as departments in neighboring communities.

“I hope that as fire chief I can facilitate increased involvement within the community,” he said. “I would love to work with other local fire departments to create ways we can do this, because at the end of the day, the volunteer fire departments are here for the community and I am very much looking forward to strengthening and expanding that presence.”

In addition to holding the title of Dozier Volunteer FireFighter chief, Burnette is a
Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy and is employed as a plant operator at Wiregrass Construction.