THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — Thomasville Fire Rescue Chief Chris Bowman has announced his retirement, after serving 39 years in the fire service and the Thomasville community for more than six years.
According to city officials, Bowman joined the City of Thomasville as Fire Chief in 2013.
“I am honored to have served the citizens of Thomasville as the Chief of Thomasville Fire Rescue,” said Bowman. “I’m especially proud to have worked alongside some of the most dedicated men and women in the fire service here, which has made my decision to retire bittersweet. Together, we’ve made significant strides in our local fire protection services and, while I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, I’m excited to see how this department grows in the future.”
Thomasville City Manager Alan Carson said that Bowman’s impact on TFR has been significant.
“Chris has laid a positive foundation for our local fire department in many areas, including strategic planning and peer mentoring,” Carson said. “Under his direction, TFR has achieved many distinctions, including the achievement of National Fire Protection Association certification of all staff members.”
Officials say Bowman came to Thomasville from the Greensboro, North Carolina, Fire Department where he served as Assistant Chief of the Strategic Planning Division.
While with Greensboro, Bowman was involved in the department’s strategic planning initiatives as well as other areas including performance and accountability, ISO classification and accreditation.
He brought 33 years of experience in fire protection, technical rescue, incident command, training, planning and emergency services to Thomasville.
During his tenure with TFR, Bowman has led the department to achieving the status of a certified ‘Blue Card’ incident command center and simulation lab by the National Incident Command Center.
City officials say he has also worked with TFR staff to incorporate many new initiatives, including the establishment of a tactical ropes rescue team, officer training and education programs, and the TFR honor guard.
“Chris has had a tremendous impact on the personal growth and development of his staff,” said Carson. “His experience in the fire service has been invaluable to the department and has allowed our department to provide an outstanding level of protection for our community. He is highly regarded by those in the fire service and, most importantly, by the staff who have served under his leadership. He will be greatly missed, and his Team Thomasville family wishes him well.”
As he moves forward, Bowman said that he and his wife, Tricia, will be relocating to North Carolina, where the couple have family.
“Thomasville has become our home over the last six years and we are appreciative to have been welcomed by this community,” he said. “Although we will be moving back to North Carolina, we will leave a big piece of our hearts in Thomasville.”
The city says Bowman’s retirement is effective December 31st. Carson said that an interim fire chief will be named in the coming days.