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Birmingham Battalion Chief to Lead Daphne, Ala. Fire Dept.

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From left: Councilor Steven Hoyt; Battalion Chief Melvin Brown, and Councilor John Hilliard. Brown was honored by the Birmingham City Council for his 31 years of service with the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service. (Erica Wright, The Birmingham Times)
By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

After 31 years with Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, Battalion Chief Melvin Brown will become head of the fire department in Daphne, Alabama.

During Tuesday’s Birmingham City Council meeting, the council and Mayor Randall Woodfin recognized Brown whose tenure with the city ends July 17.

“With Birmingham Fire and Rescue you have demonstrated an impressive work ethic and dedication . . . you have helped put people first and I extend my appreciation and deepest gratitude for your years in remarkable service,” Woodfin said.

Brown, 57, a Birmingham native and graduate of Phillips High School and Miles College, began with the Fire and Rescue Services Department in February 1989 and “I set a goal that first day to be the first African American fire chief of this department, because one thing that I’ve always done is tried my best to reach the top and have the greatest impact on whatever industry or establishment which I was a part of,” he  said.

Brown has been named employee of the month on three different occasions, served as Captain of the Fire Investigation Bureau, Battalion Chief of Communication and Public Education. In 1999, he became the first firefighter in Birmingham to be certified as a firefighter and police officer after completing the Birmingham Police Academy.

Brown, who applied to be fire chief for the City of Birmingham said he was disappointed to not get the job, but it was meant for him to go to Daphne.

Councilor Steven Hoyt, who has known Brown since their days at Miles College, sponsored the resolution the council presented to Brown.

”Melvin has been a great example when one puts his mind to something that he can achieve great things and so I am honored that I get a chance to celebrate not only my friend for life, former church member, and fraternity brother but he has served with valor … we thank God for what He is doing in his life and his family’s life.”

Brown and his wife, Natalie have been married for 25 years and have three children, Melvin Jr., Kristin and Melody and seven grandchildren.

Updated at 9:32 a.m. in 6/17/2020 to include Brown’s age.