The Orange Beach City Council voted unanimously on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 to appoint Mike Kimmerling as Fire Chief. He had been serving as interim chief since June when Chief Justin Pearce retired.
“Thank you very much,” Chief Kimmerling said to the council after the vote. “I appreciate the faith and trust that y’all have given me to do this but I also appreciate the fact that I would be nothing if it wasn’t for the men and women of our fire department who provide the services they do everyday. They are the reason why we’re here. They are the reason that I come to work everyday to do what I can for them because of what they do for our community. So I appreciate it very much. I thank you.”
Mayor Tony Kennon followed by saying, “Chief you are a blessing to this city, this mayor and council and the fire department men and women. Thank you, buddy.”
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 City of Orange Beach Deputy Fire Chief position and began that role in January 2018.
(In the photo: The City Council congratulated Chief Mike Kimmerling and his wife Beth after the meeting. From left are Councilman Jeff Silvers, Councilwoman Joni Blalock-Costo, Mayor Tony Kennon, interim Police Chief Steve Brown, Beth Kimmerling, Mike Kimmerling, Council Chairman Pro-Tem Annette Mitchell, Councilman Jerry Johnson, Councilman Jeff Boyd and City Administrator Ken Grimes.)