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City Manager Bill Sorah announced today the appointment of Bristol Tennessee’s next Fire Chief. Mike Carrier, Interim Chief of the Bristol Tennessee Fire Department was selected from a candidate pool of 42, which was narrowed to eight who went through the Municipal Technical Advisory Service assessment process. Carrier was one of the three finalists who underwent an extensive interview process before being appointed. He will serve as the 7th Fire Chief since the department became a professionally staffed department in 1948.
City Manager Sorah stated, “Chief Carrier has done an outstanding job in leading the Fire Department with the departure of retiring Fire Chief Bob Barnes. Chief Carrier is passionate about leading this department and is abundantly qualified to do so. He will be a great asset to our City.”
Carrier has been with the City since April 1988 launching his career as a Firefighter. Through the years he has risen through the ranks as Training/Safety Officer Captain, to the rank of Asst. Chief in April 2007. He is a certified Paramedic, a certified Fire Instructor, as well as Fire Officer Level 4 by the National Fire Academy. He also serves as an instructor for many courses offered by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the National Fire Academy as well as a credentialed instructor for the Tennessee Fire and Codes Enforcement Academy
When asked what his greatest achievement in his lengthy fire service career was, Carrier responded without hesitation, “Being able to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Not only the people have we seen every day in difficult situations, but the people I am privileged to work with every day.”
Carrier will oversee a staff of 67 and a budget of over $4 million dollars. “I don’t see any significant changes in the Fire Department staffing structure; I feel that there are no broken programs. My hope is to bring those programs to the next level,” Carrier stated.
Faith, family, and farming play significant roles in Carrier’s life, for he is an ordained minister who is currently serving as Interim Pastor at his church, he owns a cattle farm where he spends much of his free time mowing and taking care of the cattle.
When asked how he came to the new position Carrier said, “My faith has put me in different places in my life and has allowed me to be where I am today.”
Carrier is married for 40 years to his wife, Sue. They have two children, their son Chase Carrier serves as a Sargent with the City of Bristol, Virginia Fire Department and a daughter Angela Chase who works for Ballad Health Systems. The Carriers have 6 grandchildren.