MONROE, Ga – After a 4-hour executive interview session on Thursday night, the Monroe City Council voted unanimously to promote Battalion Chief Andrew Dykes to lead the Monroe Fire Department.
Four finalists who were selected in a nationwide search, but it was the local battalion chief who was the ultimate choice. Dykes, along with fellow Batallion Chiefs Jack Armstrong and Joe Page have jointly been leading the department since the city let former chief Bill Owens go last year.
“Being a national search we had four great candidates. We’re just lucky we had somebody locally who could compete,” Monroe Mayor John Howard said. The other candidates were from Maryland, Dekalb and Atlanta. “He is thoughtful and takes initiative to understand things if he doesn’t know – and he also has written $123 million in grants – $900,000 for the city and $400,000 for another department.”
Howard said Dykes has been with the department for about 16 years. He did leave for about a year or so to serve in the Barrow County Fire Department but returned and has been with MFD ever since. He has been an officer with the Monroe Fire Department for 12 years.
According to his Dykes; bio on LinkedIn, he first joined Monroe in 2007 as a firefighter. During that time, he also worked as a firefighter with Walton County Fire Rescue and the City of Social Circle. He also is an instructor at the Georgia Institute of EMS in Covington, was an adjunct faculty member at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Covington and has taught at the Athens Technical College.
Dykes has an associate degree from West Georgia Technical College, a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University and a master’s degree from Jacksonville State University and Valdosta State University. He went through the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy from 2009 to 2013 and is a member of the National Society of Executive Fire Officers.