By Bruce Frazier:
The Dalton Public Safety Commission voted unanimously to confirm Todd Pangle as the Dalton Fire Chief at their monthly meeting this morning. Pangle has served the fire department nearly 20 years and has been the Deputy Fire Chief since March 2015. He was one of three candidates to replace Chief Bruce Satterfield, who is retiring at the end of April.
Todd Pangle rose through the ranks of the Dalton Fire Department beginning in July of 1997. He has served the agency in every firefighting capacity while working his way up the ladder from recruit candidate to battalion chief. That’s one reason his outgoing chief said that “well-rounded” would be the best way to describe him.
“Todd is a very detailed person,” Chief Bruce Satterfield said. “He’s very meticulous about how he goes about his daily job.”
“He has a very good respect and rapport with the personnel of the department,” Satterfield continued. “He brings a lot of experience to the table. He’s been a tremendous asset to me upstairs as the deputy chief since 2015, and he’s just a ton of help with his knowledge and so forth… I’m a thorough believer that he is the person to take the department further with my departure.”
The search for the next fire chief began in January after Chief Satterfield announced his impending retirement. Three internal candidates qualified in February to apply for the position. Those three candidates were Pangle, Damion Epps, and Chris Cantrell. Interviews with the candidates reportedly left commissioners impressed by all three.
“We had three outstanding candidates for the position,” said Bill Weaver, the chairman of the Public Safety Commission. “I think the feeling was that Todd had some experiences that the others have not had, and that those experiences pushed him over the top as the commission deliberated and discussed the candidates before them.”
“I sensed a deep commitment to the future of the fire department and to the importance of having outstanding staff and that he would work hard to continue the traditions that had been set within the fire department for many, many years,” Weaver continued.
Pangle said that the chance to become fire chief is exciting, but also a little daunting as he works to keep the department moving forward.
“I think that’s where a lot of my fear comes from, not seeing the department regress in any way but seeing the department move forward in every aspect,” Pangle said. “I feel like we’ve got one of the best departments around and to maintain that and not only maintain but to continue to push forward puts a lot of pressure on me, and that’s what I hope to see.”
Todd Pangle attended Chattanooga State and Dalton State. He is married to Belinda Pangle and the couple has one child, son Preston Pangle who is studying at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Pangle will continue as deputy chief until April 28th when Chief Satterfield steps aside and retires.
“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like,” Pangle said of becoming fire chief. “There’s a sense of relief but also a sense of pressure, just in realizing what lies ahead and the responsibility that I’ll have.”