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Sandy Springs Fire Chief to Retire

His 52-year-career in fire/rescue service includes more than 33 years as a Fire Chief; seven of those with the city of Sandy Springs.

Provided by Sharon Kraun

Sandy Springs Fire Chief Jack McElfish announced his plans to retire in October.

His 52-year-career in fire/rescue service includes more than 33 years as a fire chief; seven of those with the city of Sandy Springs.  

“I have been blessed to work around some great mentors and friends in the fire/rescue service and have accomplished far more than I could have ever imagined," McElfish said. "But it is time for me to take it a little easier, enjoying more time with family.”

McElfish, 69, began his career in the United States Air Force, serving as a crash rescue firefighter. He rose through the ranks, later serving 33 years as a fire chief with five municipalities including Gwinnett and Clayton Counties in Georgia; Richmond, VA; and Wallingford, CT, as well as Sandy Springs.

City Manager John McDonough said, "Jack did a tremendous job for the city in creating and developing Sandy Springs Fire Rescue as a nationally recognized fire department. We are going to miss him.” 

The city hired McElfish in July, 2006 and tasked him with creating a full service Fire and Rescue Department that was to be operational by Jan. 1, 2007. The Fire Department became fully operational on Dec. 29, 2006.  

Over the past seven years, the Fire Department has received numerous awards including the “Crown Community” Award by the American City and County Magazine in recognition of the start-up and the Department’s innovative Emergency Medical Services Program, and for its “Heart Safe” program. The Department also received the “Heart Save Community Award” presented by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

“I will definitely miss everyone, especially those super people in the Fire/Rescue department. They work so hard for this city,” added McElfish.

McElfish said he notified the city of his intentions to retire to provide the city with time for a smooth transition. The city plans to conduct a national search to fill the role.


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