WILMINGTON, NC (News Release) — On Friday, January 31st, after more than thirty-five years of public service with the Wilmington Fire Department, Assistant Fire Chief Frank Blackley will officially retire. During his time with the Wilmington Fire Department, Chief Blackley has served in the positions of Fire Investigator, Fire Marshal, Interim Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief of Operations and with his final assignment as Assistant Fire Chief of Support.
Assistant Chief Blackley is a lifelong resident of Wilmington and a graduate of John T. Hoggard High School. He began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with the Winter Park Fire Department during high school and was a resident firefighter with the Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire Department while attending college in Greensboro, North Carolina. Asst. Chief Blackley holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning from UNC Wilmington. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has received the “Chief Fire Officer” designation from The Commission on Professional Credentialing.
He previously served two years as president of the North Carolina Fire Marshal’s Association where he became involved with Vision 20/20 – National Strategies for Fire Loss Prevention and their efforts to promote community risk reduction (CRR) in all levels of the fire service, specifically in operations. In recent years, he has taught nationally for Vision 20/20, is one of their CRR technical advisors, and assisted in development of a National Fire Academy course on CRR.
“Chief Blackley is a great friend who has dedicated his life to helping others,” states Fire Chief C.V. “Buddy” Martinette. “As our Support Services Chief, who is principally responsible for our financial management, he has been a great advocate of the citizens tax money. He will be sorely missed.”
On Friday, Chief Blackley will be escorted home from Fire Headquarter by firefighters on Truck 1 before signing off for the final time. In retirement, Chief Blackley plans to continue his community involvement and spend more time with family. He will also do some work with Wilmington Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office.