Submitted by Douglas County
Vick Welch has been named Division Chief for the Douglas County Fire/EMS Department, replacing the retired Division Chief Mickey Shelton.
Chief Welch has been with the Department since 1984 when he came back to work for fire services after his initial employment in 1978. According to Welch, once he was away a few years he realized it was time to return.
He has progressed through his career as Driver (1985), Lieutenant (1987), Captain (1995) and now Division Chief. In addition to Firefighter certification, Chief Welch is a Certified EMT-Intermediate which is authorized to provide advanced life support.
He was chosen through a process that required he apply for the position and go through interviews with a committee comprised of the Fire Chief, Deputy Chief, Chief Investigator, Fire Marshall and other command staff. Chief Scott Spencer described Chief Welch as being someone who remains calm no matter the situation: “Vick is level-headed and runs a scene well. He doesn’t get excited even if someone screams in the radio; he stays the same.”
Division Chief Welch now supervises the Department’s “C” shift.
All station personnel serve 24 hours on/48 hours off. “A” shift is supervised by Division Chief Britt Worthan, and “B” shift is supervised by Division Chief David Earl Brown. The Division Chiefs report to Deputy Fire Chief Kim Ransom and Fire Chief Scott Spencer. The Division Chiefs are headquartered at Fire Station No. 10 in downtown Douglasville.
Division Chief Welch has spent his professional career with the Douglas County Fire/EMS Department. His father was a firefighter for the City of Atlanta and he remembers having an interest at an early age: “I heard a lot about firefighting growing up. I started volunteering while I was still in high school, back then it was all volunteers.”
He says the greatest change he has seen is the amount of involvement firefighters now have with emergency medical situations. All Douglas County firefighters are cross-trained and hold additional certifications as EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), Paramedic, or Cardiac Technician. “The demand from the scene and how the EMS is now incorporated with fighting fires has been the biggest challenge because of the amount of time it takes. The majority of the calls we now run are medical,” he said.
Division Chief Welch has lived in Douglas County since age 11 and is a graduate of Douglas County High School. He is married to Bonnie and they have two son, a daughter, a grandson, and granddaughter.