published Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Bradley County's Dewey Woody to direct state bomb, arson division

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County Fire and Rescue Chief Dewey Woody is leaving his post to accept a job with the Tennessee Fire Marshal's office.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Woody and County Mayor D. Gary Davis, who accepted the resignation. Woody will head the Arson and Bomb Section of the state fire marshal's office in Nashville.

Dan Howell, executive assistant to the mayor, said Davis is considering options for who will lead the fire department but probably will not decide until next week.

In a media release, Davis praised Woody's work "transitioning the County Fire and Rescue Department from a volunteer department to one of the most professional departments in Tennessee."

"For the past 12 years, Chief Woody has been very instrumental in helping Bradley County build an award-winning fire department."

Bradley County now has 10 fire halls with three more to be built in the next six months. It is a department of 42 paid staff, with 24 more to be hired soon, that is augmented by a 65-member volunteer force.

Woody told the department's officers about his plans on Tuesday night. He told the fire and rescue personnel their department holds a special place in his heart. He did not seek his new job, he said, but "it came looking for me."

Woody serves on the board of the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association and is chairman of the statewide Mutual Aid Task Force that develops training standards for departments. He teaches bomb and arson investigation at Cleveland State Community College's Law Enforcement Academy.

A former U.S. Army military police officer, Woody has served the Bradley County Sheriff's office and the Cleveland Police Department while also serving as a volunteer firefighter.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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