The Waveland Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday approved Mayor Mike Smith’s appointment of Tommy Carver, Jr. as the city’s new fire chief, effective immediately.
Former fire chief Tony Mallini retired last month after a 27-year career with Waveland’s Fire Department.
Carver formerly served as assistant fire chief and has been with Waveland Fire Department since 1996.
Smith said that he has “always believed in promoting from within.”
“He’s trained for this his whole career,” Smith said.
Not only did Carver serve during Smith’s tenure as fire chief, he also worked with Mallini and former fire chief David Garcia.
“We appreciate his service,” Smith said.
Carver said that he couldn’t be “more happy” about his promotion.
“I get to live every child’s dream of being a fire chief,” he said. “The last three chiefs are some of the best around and they made sure I was prepared and ready to hit the ground running. I’ve got big shoes to fill.”
Carver said that the fire department is full of a “great” group of guys and he is already planning his future goals for the department.
One of those goals includes creating room in the budget for upgrades to equipment such as the Jaws of Life, air packs, and turnout gear.
Another goal includes creating an organized department training plan to enhance employees’ skills and knowledge.
“I would request a training budget for each employee to attend at least one training class per fiscal year and refresher classes for EMT,” Carver said. “Additionally, numerous free and low-cost training is available through Hancock County Emergency Management Agency, MS State Fire Academy, and American Medical Response. Also, in-service shift training can be conducted at no cost to the city. We must remember first responders train for safety and survival.”
Carver said that one of his other goals it to expand community outreach.
“Public education protects our community by teaching emergency prevention and preparedness,” he said. “Residents, schools, and businesses will be the target audience for all public education programs. Life, safety, and property protection are the primary goals of Fire Prevention Education.”
The fire prevention programs Carver has in mind include demonstrations on the fire prevention trailer, fire apparatus and equipment, fire extinguisher classes, and assistance in planning escape routes.
Carver said that smoke alarms play a “vital” role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.
The state’s Smoke Alarm program provides smoke alarms free of charge to low-income residents and are distributed by fire departments, he said.
Carver also said that he would like for his department to provide more fire education at schools and even take the time to eat lunch with students.
Finally, Carver said he plans to implement a severe weather preparedness education program, especially for the elderly and vulnerable adults. Topics would include, but not limited to, things to bring when evacuating, where to evacuate, and how to care for pets during a weather emergency.
“Hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and thunderstorms are all severe weather conditions possible in Waveland,” Carver said.