Interim Chapel Hill Fire Chief Matt Sullivan was promoted to the post permanently this week, Town Manager Roger Stancil said.
Sullivan has led the fire department since the previous chief Dan Jones retired in May 2015. During that time, he has drafted a strategic plan for the department’s future, established a facilities improvement plan, extended the department’s outreach and community connections, and made other improvements, Stancil said.
“I want to send a strong message that Matt has my full confidence as the leader of our Fire Department,” Stancil said in an email to Town Council members.
“He has demonstrated his ability to lead the department over the last 14 months, as well as grow his role as a key member of the town’s leadership team,” Stancil said. “His knowledge of fire service, his experience with multiple facets of town operations, his understanding of our vision and values, his experience and knowledge as a social worker in facilitating groups and managing change, his perspectives about community safety and his experience working within this community have made him an ideal person to serve in this role.”
Sullivan, who was hired in 1988, has served in a number of town roles, including public safety officer, narcotics investigator, crisis counselor, firefighter, police legal adviser, interim executive director of planning and sustainability, and most recently, as emergency management coordinator. He also was UNC’s substance abuse programs coordinator.
A Boston native, he moved to Chapel Hill at age 14 and attended Chapel Hill High School. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in social work from UNC, and a doctorate of law from N.C. Central University’s School of Law.