ALBANY, Ga. -- An Albany native will assume his new command as assistant Albany fire chief today after being chosen from a crowded field of applicants, fire officials say.
Capt. Sebon Burns, a 21-year veteran of the Albany Fire Department, will officially begin the week as the department's newest assistant fire chief, Chief James Carswell said.
"We're glad to have him on board," Carswell said. "There were a lot of talented and qualified applicants that were considered for the position, and Capt. Burns is going to be a good fit in that position."
Burns fills the hole in the department's command structure left by former Assistant Chief Roderick Jolivette.
"It's a great honor for me, personally and professionally," Burns said. "To be from here, and to have 21 years in with the department and to be recognized like this is great."
Burns said he believes the promotion process was fair and very thorough, and he said he believes he was among a strong field of candidates.
"It was a tough process. It really challenged your mind and helped prepare you for what's to come," Burns said. "I look forward to getting started and doing my part."
Burns is a veteran of the U.S. Army and was first hired by AFD in 1989. He was promoted to captain in 2006.
In October 2005, Burns was honored, alongside career firefighter Lt. Dewayne Denney, as the Exchange Club of Albany's Firefighters of the Year.
Then a lieutenant, Burns told a reporter that he loved his crew and that he was humbled by the award.
"I'm glad to see that hard work and dedication is rewarded in some way," he said at the event.
Deputy EMA Director Jim Vaught, who serves as the fire department's facilitator for promotions and hirings, said that 48 people initially applied for the assistant chief position.