Austell Names New Fire Chief

Austell July D 2015 007Pat Maxwell is Austell’s new fire fief following the retirement of long time chief Tim Williams after 34 years in the department.

Maxwell, has served as assistant fire chief for the last 17 years. He lives in Villa Rica with his wife, Judy. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Maxwell, left, has been with the department since 1990 and became assistant chief in 1996.

“We have worked together a long time,” he said. “I’ve been a stickler for doing things the right way.”

The new chief took over June 25.

“Tim is well respected throughout the city,” Maxwell said. “We’ve shared a lot over the years.”

Brandon Merritt has been promoted to assistant fire chief.

Williams started with Austell Fire at age 22 after a layoff at the Lakewood General Motors plant. At the time there were only 40 employees in the city, now there are more than 100. The fire department only had 12 then and has grown to 20 with another 10 part-time.

Williams, at one time, served as both fire chief and police chief, Mayor Joe Jerkins said. “He was almost always perfect: neat and organized and a good, hardworking person,” said Jerkins. “He’s done a great job for this city.”

The main fire station on Austell-Powder Spring road, built in 2003, was contracted by Williams and Maxwell. “We saved a lot of money doing it that way,” he said.

Serving as chief since 1994, Williams said, “The city has been great to me. It’s been an outstanding career.”

One of the toughest days of his career was during the flood of 2009, when more than 700 local homes were destroyed.

“It was Lake Austell,” he said. “The flood was one of the most devastating things I’ve seen. We had a great group of guys working together.”

“I didn’t leave the station for almost 70 hours,” said Williams, noting there were no fatalities due of the flooding. “Pat was right by my side the whole way through, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

The Department responds to approximately 1,200 calls each year, and approximately 80 percent of the calls are related to medical emergencies.

From the July 2015 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.