Contributed by the city of Opelika
The city of Opelika is pleased to announce Shane Boyd as the city’s new fire chief, effective April 1, 2021. Boyd is replacing Chief Byron Prather, who retired on Jan. 31, 2021. Boyd comes to Opelika from Bessemer, where he served as the deputy fire chief for three years.
“After an extensive search across the southeast by an outside recruiting firm, we interviewed seven outstanding candidates,” said Mayor Gary Fuller. “Shane Boyd was our choice because of his experience and proven track record of leadership. The Opelika Fire Department has a long and proud history in our community. I believe Shane will take us to a higher level of service for our citizens and community.”
Boyd began his career as a firefighter EMT at the Birmingport Fire District in 1993, before moving to the Concord Fire Department as a firefighter paramedic. He then served the city of Bessemer for some 25 years as a firefighter paramedic, fire sergeant, fire lieutenant, fire captain and battalion captain. In those roles, he was responsible for every aspect of fire safety, including training and EMS programs. He has an extensive list of certifications from standard fire training such as a firefighter, HazMat and rescue technician to training in terrorist bombings, radiological/nuclear awareness and FEMA incident safety.
“I want to say how humbled I am to be afforded the opportunity to join the city of Opelika and the Opelika Fire Department family,” Boyd said. “I was not looking for a job, but when this position opened, it was too good to ignore it. I’d like to thank Mayor Fuller and City Administrator Joey Motley and the citizens of Opelika for giving me this opportunity. I owe a great deal of appreciation to the members of the Bessemer Fire Department and Chief McFarland. They have been extremely encouraging the past few weeks. It’s difficult to leave, but they are in great hands. I can’t wait to get to work with Opelika Fire.”
Boyd has already clearly established goals for the first 30, 60 and 90 days as fire chief. He plans to work with administration and staff to gather information pertinent to operations and build relationships internally; learn about and connect with the community, various agencies and school officials; analyze and develop fire department budget; and improve community outreach, develop strategic plans and operational goals for the extended future.