New Market to vote on new interim fire chief

New Market Town Council will vote on appointing Tim Williams as the town’s interim volunteer fire chief, replacing former chief Gary Yew, who has announced his retirement.

Williams, operations chief for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, was recommended for appointment by New Market’s public safety committee, and council will vote on that appointment on Aug. 15, said Town Manager Mike Ritchie.

Yew assumed the position of New Market fire chief in December amid some turmoil. In fall 2015, New Market’s volunteer firefighters lost their licensing to provide emergency medical services. Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue has been servicing New Market since that revocation and has licensed the town’s volunteers. Yew had worked to improve morale among fire and rescue workers during his time with the town, said both Williams and Ritchie.

“We want good relations between the county paid staff and New Market volunteers,” Ritchie said. “One of the things that Gary had hoped to work on was improving recruitment among the volunteers and I think Tim will continue the same thing. The long-term goal is to improve recruitment of staff among the volunteers.”

Williams’ position as New Market volunteer fire chief is an unpaid one. He said he hopes to continue the work done by Yew.

“Currently, the makeup of Shenandoah County is that we have 42 providers that provide assistance to the volunteer agencies,” Williams said. “Volunteers can’t do it by themselves and we (career firefighters) can’t do it by ourselves so we rely on a combination. Career (firefighters) rely on volunteer (firefighters) and volunteers rely on career (firefighters) and we do it that way – working together.”

Williams said that the state of fire and rescue in New Market is good.

“In New Market, things are very good up there,” Williams said. “They are working under our license. We license first responders in other departments, we license apparatus as well… I will dedicate time to the volunteers as much as they want. Our staff is in that station around the clock.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com