Eric Colson has been named acting chief of the Georgetown Fire Department following the dismissal of Greg Bayer Wednesday, said Mayor Tom Prather.

“After a discussion between the two of us, it was a mutual decision,” Prather said. “Greg Bayer is very capable and a fine professional, but it was simply a matter of fit.”

Bayer was hired as fire chief on July 22 after retiring from the Lexington Fire Department as battalion chief for special operations. He was hired when former fire chief John Ward retired and following a search by a panel of fire professionals and community leaders who interviewed a number of candidates before recommending Bayer.

The mayor planned to meet with the entire fire department Wednesday afternoon to answer questions.

Colson, a long-time assistant fire chief with the department, has been named acting chief for three-to-six months, the mayor said.

“The process for naming a new permanent fire chief has not been determined, but that is why Colson will be in place for three-to-six months,” Prather said.

“Eric has been with the fire department for a long time,” Prather said, adding the department is in good hands under his leadership.

The city issued a press release Wednesday afternoon from the mayor:

“After careful consideration, I am removing Greg Bayer as Chief of the Georgetown Fire Department,” the mayor said in the press statement. “I sincerely thank Greg for his service to the Department and to this city and wish him continued success in his career.

“This move is not a criticism of Greg Bayer but a reflection on correctness of fit in a department with unique needs. We followed a prudent selection process and chose from outstanding candidates. Our actions will always be motivated by the best interests of the Department. Effective immediately, current Assistant Fire Chief Eric Colson will be promoted to Acting Fire Chief, until an appropriate course of action is determined.”

 

Mike Scogin can be reached at mscogin@news-graphic.com.

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