Rick McClellan is new to the job. But it comes to the Wilmington Fire Department, he’s a seasoned veteran.
McClellan was recently sworn in as Deputy Fire Chief after 30 years serving the community as a firefighter and lieutenant.
“I was very happy that I was offered the position,” said McClellan, who was offered the job based on his experience and score on a test taken by all who were interested in the title. “I look forward to the opportunities to better the department.”
With three decades in the Wilmington Fire Department under his belt, McClellan said it’s difficult to pinpoint one call that has stood out to him as most memorable.
What the new Deputy Chief enjoys most about his job is the unexpected nature of each day.
“Over 30 years there have been so many memorable runs, some good and some bad,” said McClellan. “We get some strange calls, but we go out and take care of whatever the situation is the best we can, and offer assistance to getting someone the help they need.”
McClellan said he became interested in becoming a firefighter because of his father-in-law and brother-in-law. In addition, McClellan said he always had an interest in public safety, listening to the scanner on a regular basis.
Now 30 years later, McClellan takes over as Deputy Chief and will be responsible for a variety of fire prevention and regulation tasks.
In upcoming years, McClellan said he will be kept busy with a long list of projects that face the town. Among them are the Target store, new high school and apartment building on Burlington Ave.
“The job has changed so much over the years, and the department is so much busier than we used to be,” said McClellan. “We have a lot of things going on in town that we’d like to implement, and we have some big projects coming up in town that I’ll be involved with. I’m looking forward to it.”