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New Poplarville fire chief hired

Continuing to improve Poplarville’s fire insurance rating will be a priority for the city’s new fire chief.

Part time Poplarville firefighter Jason Bannister was hired as the city’s new fire chief Tuesday by the Poplarville Board of Alderman.

“In five years, I would love to see the Fire Department at least one class rate lower,” he said after being named the new chief.

In January, Fire Department staff learned that it had lowered the city’s fire insurance rating from class seven to class six, according to previous coverage. The insurance rating had been at class seven since 1998, according to previous coverage.

Bannister has worked in fire service for 23 years and has been a firefighter at the Slidell fire department for the last 12 years. He joined the Poplarville Fire Department as a part time firefighter six months ago, he said, and lives in the north end of the county. Bannister said the biggest challenge he foresees is being able to keep the required number of personnel on duty, but he is looking forward to working with the team.

“The Fire Department has great people working for it,” Bannister said.

In a separate matter, the Board approved promoting part time Poplarville Police officer Greg Williams to a full time position. The department still needs to fill two full time positions, said Police Chief Greg Hartley. One of the positions is for a school resource officer, he said. Hartley plans to expand the part time roster once the full time positions are filled.

The next Board meeting will be Tuesday Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. in City Hall.