LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - After nearly three decades with the Long Beach Fire Department, Assistant Chief Griff Skellie can drop the “assistant” from his title.
Skellie was sworn in during the Long Beach city board meeting.
"I'm excited to be able to try to move the department forward a little bit," said Skellie.
Former Fire Chief and now current mayor, George Bass, shared his admiration for the city's new fire chief.
"I couldn't be anymore proud of the man we are about to swear in," Bass said.
When Skellie started his career in October 1991, he never imagined becoming the department's head guy.
"I was concentrating on fighting fire and learning to fight fire and doing my position then," Skellie said.
As a young fireman, Skellie thought about becoming a lieutenant and then battalion chief. But some changes happened where he ended up being on the administrative side of the department as an inspector.
Skellie considers himself lucky to have been able to work under the three previous fire chiefs.
“All of them were good leaders,” he said about the previous chiefs: William Fennel, Mike Brown, and George Bass.
He says the lessons he learned under them were valuable.
"My plan is to take what I've learned from those three guys and add a bit of my spin to it," Skellie added.
And to add to the special occasion Skellie’s father, former Long Beach mayor, Billy Skellie, was there to hold the Bible he was sworn in on.
“He brought us up in church, and I felt like he needed to be the one to hold the Bible for me,” said Skellie.
Now, the focus will be on moving the department into a progressive future and giving the citizens of Long Beach the quality of service they deserve.
Skellie will officially assume the position of Long Beach Fire Chief on July 1st.