After nearly a year of searching, the Town of Fort Mill has chosen its new Fire Chief.
Jeffrey Hooper, of Chesness, S.C., was named Tuesday as the head of the fire department, replacing former Chief Ken Kerber who left in December, 2012.
Hooper was one of three finalists named by the town in a process that was previously kept out of the public’s eye.
“We met with a variety of candidates who would be an asset to the Fort Mill Fire Department, but Jeffrey stood out,” said Town Manager Dennis Pieper. “His experience will be invaluable as the town continues to grow. I also want to thank Interim Chief Chapman for the leadership he exhibited during the transition.”
The three finalists were Jerry Chapman of Fort Mill; Drummond Figg of Morehead City, N.C. and Hooper.
“I am looking forward to tackling the challenges a growing area like Fort Mill presents,” said Jeffrey Hooper. “I have heard great things about the Fort Mill Fire Department and I look forward to joining the team.”
In a statement Tusday from the town, Hooper is described as a native South Carolinian who began his firefighting career in the Spartanburg area. Prior to accepting the position in Fort Mill, Chief Hooper worked as fire chief in the Town of Weaverville, NC. There he oversaw paid and volunteer staff, designed and supervised the completion of a $4.2 million dollar fire station and insured OSHA safety compliance for the town.
Chief Hooper holds the designation as a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) and an Associate Safety and Health Manager (ASHM) along with various state certifications and federal training. He also has over 25 years in the emergency services field, including fire, EMS and law enforcement.
He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health and will complete a Master of Science in Emergency Services Management in 2014.