JONESBORO — Wilmond Meadows is the only Clayton County fire chief finalist who has not worked for a fire department in the county at some point in his career, but residents shouldn’t take that to mean he’s a stranger to the Atlanta area.
While his experience comes from outside the county, Meadows is still a local candidate. He graduated from West Fulton High School and spent his nearly three-decade career working for Grady Health Systems and the Atlanta Fire Department, according to his resume. He is the Atlanta Fire Department’s deputy chief and its chief of staff.
Therefore, his inclusion, along with Clayton County Assistant Fire Chief Landry Merkison and Riverdale Fire Chief Brenda Willis, ensures the list of finalists are all from metro Atlanta. He is also one of two finalists with ties to the Atlanta Fire Department. Willis worked for the department for decades before she went into a brief retirement in 2010.
Meadows has an extensive educational history listed on his resume, including an associates degree in fire management from DeKalb College, a bachelors degree in human resources management from Georgia State University, a masters degree in public administration from Columbus State University and a paramedic technology certificate from Atlanta Area Technical College.
Meadows’ biography on the City of Atlanta’s website also shows that, in addition to his degrees, he has received certification from the National Fire Academy, the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, the Institution of Engineers and the Executive Development Institute at Dillard University. His certifications from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International are for fire chief officer and chief medical officer designations.
His city biography shows he began his career with the Atlanta Fire Department after graduating from high school in 1985. He worked his way up the ladder in the department, where his various previous ranks have included fire fighter, fire-medic, fire apparatus operator, fire lieutenant, paramedic lieutenant, operations captain, training captain, battalion chief and assistant chief.
He became deputy chief in 2005, where his duties include managing the department’s human resources, fiscal management, fleet and facilities, EMS, homeland security, recruitment and hiring, special events, communications, information technology, fire investigations, code enforcement and fire education units, according to his resume. He also listed department’s training academy and offices of professional standards, assessment and planning, chaplain, members services and public information as areas he oversees.
As chief of staff, he is also the department’s legislative liaison with city and state leaders. He is also the chairman of the fire department’s Disciplinary Review Board, according to a biography on the Atlanta Fire Foundation website.
Federal Emergency Management Agency records show Meadows wrote reports for the agency in 2009 and 2012 on the Atlanta Fire Department’s work to create a succession plan and a maternity leave policy, respectively.
Taking the fire chief position, which is listed as having an annual salary of about $96,000, would effectively mean a pay cut for Meadows. He wrote on his resume that his annual salary with the Atlanta Fire Department is $107,000.
For more than half of his career, he simultaneously worked for the Atlanta Fire Department and Grady Health Systems. He was a part-time paramedic for Grady from July 1990 until December 2005. While he was with the hospital, he taught courses in basic cardiac life support, advance cardiac life support, pediatric advance life support and basic trauma life support, according to his resume.
From 1994 until 2005, Meadows was also assigned to the V.I.P. Escort Team that provided medical support to White House staff whenever a president visited Atlanta, according to the resume.
He listed “demands of full-time position with fire department” as his reason for leaving his job with the hospital.
Clayton County commissioners are expected to publicly interview Meadows for the position during their Nov. 5 meeting at the Board of Commissioners Office, 112 Smith St. in Jonesboro.
Editors note: Clayton News Daily is profiling the three Clayton County fire chief finalists this week. Additional profiles will run Friday and Saturday.