Interim Orange Beach Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief named

June 21, 2019
Interim Orange Beach Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling, left, and Interim Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Smith on right

Following the retirement of Chief Justin Pearce this month, Deputy Chief Mike Kimmerling has been assigned by Mayor Tony Kennon to serve as Interim Fire Chief.

Chief Kimmerling spent 27 years with the Bloomington (Illinois) Fire Department, starting as a firefighter and spending his last five years as Fire Chief. He was the first paramedic hired by his department in 1987. Kimmerling was initially hired by the City of Orange Beach in the Coastal Resources Department as one of its first Beach Ambassadors and then was promoted into a full-time role of supervisor in the establishment of the Leave Only Footprints program. He successfully interviewed for the Deputy Fire Chief position and began that role in January 2018.

"The Orange Beach Fire Department has an outstanding staff of men and women who provide exceptional service to our community and its visitors,” Chief Kimmerling said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with them and our Mayor and Council to protect paradise.”

For the Interim Deputy Chief position, the mayor has assigned Battalion Chief Jeff Smith.

City Administrator Ken Grimes Jr. said the mayor’s selection of Smith to fill that role will allow for continuity of operations and help maintain a level of service and response that the community expects.

Chief Smith has more than 23 years of experience with the Orange Beach Fire Department.

“We appreciate all employees of the Orange Beach Fire Department and thank them for their diligence and dedication as we make this transition,” Grimes said.