Amid several months of controversy over the alleged safety issues surrounding the management of the Camden County Fire Department, Chief Mark Crews resigns.
According to Crews’ letter of resignation, he plans to stay on to assist the interim fire chief. It has been learned that the county intends to enter into an agreement to name Terry Smith, the current Kingsland Fire Chief, as the interim chief.
AllOnGeorgia obtained copies of Crews’ resignation and correspondence sent to County Administrator Steve Howard.
Below is a correspondence and letter of resignation from Crews:
“For nearly a year, my leadership Camden County Fire Rescue has been under intense public scrutiny by a small, but vocal group of former county employees. While their claims are a perversion of the truth, the hardworking firefighters and paramedics that keep Camden County safe deserve to be recognized for their heroic contributions to the community, not undermined by questions about their chief.
The past several months have been extremely trying on both my personal and professional families, and it has become clear that my leadership at Camden County Fire Rescue has become a distraction. Accordingly, I intend to resign as fire chief.
I have always believed that public service is a noble pursuit, and I trust the people of Camden know that the politics of character assassination and ad hominem attacks do not improve public welfare, they simply make it harder to find good people willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
I wish the next Chief of Camden County Fire Rescue well. You are blessed with an incredibly talented and motivated group of firefighters.”
Jeremy Wright, a former veteran firefighter for Camden County, and a staunch voice against the oversight of Chief Crews, along with a group of current and former working firefighters called Firefighters Against Corruption (some of the firefighters have remained anonymous in fear of retribution).
Wright gave the following statement on the Crews resignation:
“I think that Mark Crews leaving the fire service and public safety is a good decision; whether he made the decision, or the county administration made it for him.”
Mark Crews resigned on his own, according to the communications sent to AllOnGeorgia – Camden.
Last May, the county announced that Crews earned his Georgia Fire Chief certification from the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs (GAFC). The certificate is awarded to those professionals who are qualified to oversee fire and safety services.