Kevin Dove steps in as Fayetteville's new fire chief after 25 years with the city: 'Humbled'

Monique John Image
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Fayetteville's new fire chief
The city of Fayetteville has a new fire chief. Kevin Dove is taking the top spot after 25 years at the department.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The city of Fayetteville has a new fire chief.

Kevin Dove was named as the man to lead the department after 25 years with the city.

"I stand before you a very, very humbled man," Chief Dove said during his emotional speech at city hall Monday, reflecting on the more than two decades he spent climbing every rank of the Fayetteville fire department. The Fayetteville native thanked his family and the prior chiefs who helped him along the way.

Dove says his priority for office is doubling down on fire prevention efforts. He says he wants the department's community programs to give out free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to reach more people.

"No person, no matter what their status is financially, emotionally, physically, no person should lay their head down at night without a working smoke detector," Dove said. " It's just it's a travesty that we can't allow."

He says he also wants firefighters to know there are opportunities for advancement. Like the Fayetteville police, Dove says his department has a significant number of vacancies: 23 out of 351 total positions.

"It's manageable, but it's it's a struggle every day," Dove said.

He says he'll be working to retain firefighters while setting the goal of filling those vacancies by May.

"Once a firefighter leaves and we have to bring another one on to replace them, it takes us roughly ten months to get them on board and trained and prepared to get on a fire truck," Dove said.

Fayetteville's last fire chief, Mike Hill, who was there for the ceremony--retired back in December. Dove is taking on his new responsibilities as fire chief immediately.

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