Clinton selects new fire chief

The City of Clinton announced the hiring of Scott Phillips as the new Clinton Fire Department chief following Tuesday night’s Council meeting.

Phillips’ career in emergency services began over 15 years ago and has included roles as a paramedic and firefighter, accoring to city officials. He has worked for Harnett County EMS, Dunn Rescue Squad and Dunn Emergency Services, where he most recently served as a captain and assistant chief.

“We had strong candidates in our assessment center for the fire chief position. When I discussed the results with the assessors, there was a strong agreement that Scott would be a good fit for the Clinton Fire Department,” City manager Shawn Purvis stated.

Phillips holds additional certifications as a fire and life safety educator, incident safety officer and fire inspector and owns a bachelor’s degree from Campbell University.

Interim Chief Austin Tew has been at the helm of the Clinton Fire Department in recent months. Fire Chief Adon Snyder retired at the end of January after two and a half years with the department, following which the city moved forward with the process of finding his replacement — using the same in-depth practice it utilized in hiring Snyder.

Purvis previously said the external assessment center would give the city the “most complete approach” to hiring the next chief. He lauded Phillips’ performance in that assessment and the interview. The candidates were narrowed to two last month, and Purvis said Phillips ultimately rose to the top of the list.

“After reviewing how well he did in the assessment and conducting an interview,” the city manager said, “it was clear that he would offer an enthusiasm that would help create a cohesiveness and provide a vision for the Clinton Fire Department.”

Phillips said he looked forward to serving as Clinton’s fire chief and leading the department in the years to come.

“I am excited to have been chosen as the fire chief. The process was challenging and fair and I feel fortunate to have been selected,” the new chief remarked. “I want to bring our department together, develop stronger relationships between the Clinton Fire Department and our neighboring districts and move the department into the future.”

The new fire chief will begin his duties on Monday, June 8. His starting salary is $55,000.

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