Gastonia Fire Department Announces Promotions to Deputy Fire Chief and Assistant Fire Chief

Photos of Deputy Chief Warren and Assistant Chief Best

The City of Gastonia has announced the promotions of two senior-level fire officers to fill vacancies in the Gastonia Fire Department. Assistant Chief William Warren has been promoted to the position of Deputy Fire Chief and Battalion Chief Brad Best has been promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief.

Warren replaces Mark Rutherford, who retired from the GFD on July 31. Warren has been with the Gastonia Fire Department for 27 years. As Deputy Fire Chief, Warren will oversee the department’s operations and training.

Best was selected to fill Warren’s previous position. Best is a 20-year veteran of the Gastonia Fire Department and has most recently been the Battalion Chief of Training.  As Assistant Fire Chief, Best will be responsible for emergency management within the City, the Life Safety Division, the department’s budget, and GFD’s hiring and recruitment.

Fire Chief Phil Welch said Rutherford’s retirement provided an opportunity for multiple advancements within the department, and that Warren and Best will do an excellent job in their new positions. “Both Deputy Chief Warren and Assistant Chief Best have been extremely dedicated to the Fire Department and the City of Gastonia throughout their careers,” Welch said. “These men are recognized for the sacrifices they have made to further their educations through undergraduate and graduate-level degrees. Additionally, they are both graduates of the prestigious Executive Fire Officer Program of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.”

The Gastonia Fire Department has 143 full-time employees and eight fire stations, and responded to 10,355 calls for service in 2019.