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Fire Chief resigns for 'personal change in direction'
Wilson Frank head shot fire chief IMG 9003-1
Franklin Wilson

UPDATED: In a released statement, Chairman Richard Oden said "It is with disappointment I announce Rockdale County’s Fire Chief, Franklin Wilson, has resigned effective July 6, 2012. He told me he wants to make a personal change in direction." He outlined as some of Wilson's accomplishments "his work to improve the Emergency 911 radio system, strengthen the department’s commitment to community service and improve training."

"I have now begun to discuss with the County’s Human Resources Department the next steps needed to select Chief Wilson’s successor promptly. More information about that process will be shared as it progresses."

Interim Chief Dan Morgan said in a released statement, "I am honored and humbled that I would be given this opportunity to lead a department I have grown up in through this time of transition. I have continued to pursue secondary education since I have been here specifically for the fire department to grow professionally in this chosen field. This is my passion. This is what I want to do until I retire, whether it is riding on a truck or leading the front office.

"We have people in our department who live here, went to high school here and have now been in the department 10, 20, 30 years. Our people are dedicated to being here.

"So I will be true to the level of dedication and professionalism they have come to expect, and be someone they know and trust.

"As for Battalion Chief Joel Yoder, who was asked to serve as interim Chief when Chief Cedric Scott left and I was the Deputy, we fully expect to be just as successful as we were last time.

"We will continue to move forward in a positive direction. We are not going to let anything fall off the table. Our folks will trust us to do that."

The press conference called for Monday has been cancelled.


(June 21, 6:14 p.m.) Rockdale will reportedly be looking for its third fire chief in four years. A press conference has been called by Commission Chair Richard Oden with Rockdale County Fire and Rescue Department officials for Monday morning. Rockdale Fire and Rescue Department Fire Chief Franklin Wilson has reportedly turned in a letter of resignation and a memo was reportedly sent out Wednesday to the firefighters and fire stations.

According to the memo, Dan Morgan will be interim fire chief, Joel Yoder will serve as interim deputy chief, and interim E-911 Operations Manager Bill Cate will remain in that role. Yoder served as interim fire chief and Morgan as interim deputy chief after previous Fire Chief Cedric Scott left.

In the memo, Wilson thanked the Fire and Rescue employees. He wrote, "I want to take a moment and thank each and every one of you for the work that you do and the sacrifices you have made. Unfortunately, this email is to notify all employees that I have tenured my resignation to Chairman Oden and my last day is scheduled to be July 6, 2011."

Wilson, who came from a deputy fire chief position in Idaho, started in August of 2011 after the previous fire chief, Cedric Scott, left in April 2011 for a position with the city of Savannah's fire department. Scott served as fire chief from 2009 to 2011.