Hall Co. has a new fire chief

Jerry Smith has named Hall County Fire Chief following an in-depth recruitment process conducted with third-party recruitment agency, the Mercer Group, county officials announced Monday.

“Filling this role was not something we took lightly,” County Administrator Zach Propes said. “I feel completely confident in Chief Smith’s ability to lead Hall County Fire Rescue forward, to serve the needs of the men and women in the department and to maintain the excellent level of service Hall County citizens deserve.”

Chief Smith has served in an interim capacity since last summer when then-chief Chris Armstrong resigned in the midst of a personnel shake-up. Armstrong stepped down just two weeks before two other top officials in the department left following allegations of a romantic relationship between them. There also had been a vote of “no confidence” regarding Armstrong by rank-and-file members of the department.

County officials say he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role, having dedicated more than 30 years of service in various capacities, including Firefighter/Paramedic, Quartermaster, Professional Standards Officer, Division Chief, Battalion Chief and Assistant Chief.

“I am truly honored to serve Hall County Fire Rescue in this role, and I’m committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens while continuing to support and develop our dedicated firefighters and emergency personnel,” Fire Chief Smith said.

Chief Smith’s promotion is effective immediately.