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Kinston Fire and Rescue chief hands over reins to newcomer in 2019

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) - Kinston Fire and Rescue Chief Donald Crawford handed over the reins to newcomer Chief Damien Locklear of Fayetteville after 32 years of service.

“It’s been a very rewarding career. I’ve seen a lot of changes through my my career in the fire service, but it’s been challenging at times, but I can honestly say that the group that I’ve had the fortune to with -- both in city management and in the department have made it very easy,” said Crawford.  

Chief Locklear said when he visited Kinston for the first time, he knew it was where he wanted to serve.

"Everybody we met was genuinely nice," said Locklear. "It kept me in the state of North Carolina and then my first visit here I was overwhelmed with the feeling of a city but a small town feel and that’s exactly what I was looking for."

Chief Locklear said he plans on observing before he changes anything at Kinston Fire and Rescue.

“I have no advice for him," said Crawford. " I think Chief Locklear is very well qualified. Hhe is going to do a very good job for the city. I look forward to seeing what he does continuing the tradition of the organization. I think he is a very good fit for the organization.”

Crawford retires on Dec. 31 and Locklear will take over on Jan. 2. 


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