New city employees introduced at Pelham City Council meeting

Published 4:14 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer 

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council received presentations from numerous department heads on Monday, July 1 that highlighted the new hiring of multiple individuals across the city’s many departments and facilities.

“This is one of our favorite days and we are happy to introduce our new employees to the Council and to the city,” City Manager Gretchen Difante said.

The largest group of new employees presented during the ceremony were that of new hires to the Pelham Fire Department. Their weighted representation at the event stems from the fact that the fire department will soon begin offering EMS transport services in the near future, with many reports citing a planned implementation date of Jan. 1, 2025.

“We have recently hired nine employees and had eight of them here tonight to introduce,” Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid said. “We are all excited about them.”

In total, Reid announced the hiring of nine new employees to the department, seven of which were hired specifically to fill out forces that will accommodate the EMS transport initiative upon its launch. The new hires were as follows:

  • Recruit Firefighter Jake Englund, who comes to Pelham from Colorado with a previous career in police law enforcement. Englund is currently in EMT basic training and will attend firefighter school in September.
  • Recruit Firefighter Carson Dill, who is a recent graduate of Pelham High School and a former member of the Pelham Fire Department Explorer Program. He is currently attending EMT basic training and will attend firefighting school in September.
  • Recruit Firefighter Ben Marling, who will be attending firefighting school in September. He is also currently in EMT basic training. Marling was also a previously a member of the Explorer Program.
  • Recruit Firefighter, Owen Williams, who is an EMT and has completed paramedic schooling. He will attend firefighting school in September.
  • Firefighter/paramedic Bryant Baker, who was unable to attend the ceremony but will serve the department in the dual roles of firefighter and paramedic.
  • Firefighter/medic Lance Hilyer, who has been in the fire service since 2008 and came to Pelham following his time with the Prattville Fire Department.
  • Firefighter/paramedic Cody Melton, who started his career in 2019 with the Montgomery Fire Department. He will start work with the Pelham Fire Department on June 1.
  • Firefighter Garrett Cobb, who is also a former member of the Montgomery Fire Department and began his career in 2021.
  • Firefighter Jacob Peacock, who has served as a firefighter/EMT since 2019. He is a graduate of the Auburn student program and was most recently a member of the Cahaba Valley Fire Department.

“Welcome to our new employees,” Council President Maurice Mercer said. “We are so excited to have you with the city of Pelham and we look forward to getting to know each of you.”

The Pelham Police Department also introduced a number of its new hires, who were presented to the Council by Police Chief Brent Sugg.

“Thank you for letting us be here tonight to introduce some of our new employees, though not all of them could be here tonight,” Sugg said. “Dor those who couldn’t be here with us, we will catch them at the next one.”

Individuals recently hired by the Pelham Police Department included:

  • Officer Seth Lisenby, who has 12 years of experience in law enforcement and was most recently a member of the Montgomery Police Department. Lisenby has been serving with the Pelham PD since May.
  • Officer Klint Rhodes, who previously served with the Pelham PD prior to his work in federal law enforcement, but returned to service in Pelham in May.
  • Dispatcher Jordan Ivey, who transitioned from his career in the private sector to one in public service. Ivey is currently in training for the position.

In addition to the those working in public safety, the city welcomed a number of other individuals who recently joined other city departments.

Pelham Parks and Recreation Director Brian Cooper introduced Jacob Sullivan, who recently started work as a maintenance technician for the department.

“Jacob comes to us from Jones College in Mississippi, where he worked with their football team in maintenance,” Cooper said. “He was also raised on his family farm that has granted him 20 years of experience there. We are grateful to have him and we are now at full capacity in our department—which is that way for the first time in a long time.”

Library Director Mary Campbell then presented Eric Kennedy, who was recently hired as the Pelham Public Library’s new circulation manager.

“(Kennedy) comes to us from Birmingham Southern College,” Campbell said. “I am very happy to have Eric here at the library, he is doing a great job. He is doing a lot of the things he was doing at BSC but also different in the way that we are a public institution and they are academic. We threw him in the deep end with the children and he is doing great.”

Ballantrae Golf Club General Manager Hal Brown also introduced a new hire at the meeting when he presented Tyler Mims as the facility’s new assistant golf professional.

“Tyler’s responsibilities include daily operations but he is also heading up our junior program at Ballantrae Golf Club and he is doing a wonderful job,” Brown said. “He started with us back at the end of April. He was once an employee with our outside services cart staff—before being lured away to a neighboring golf course—but we now have him back at Ballantrae. The staff is super happy to have him back.”

Finance Director Jamie Wagner also announced that Becky Wallace had been hired as the department’s new revenue clerk, but that she was unable to attend.

“I just want to say that with our new employee recognitions, it is exciting for me to see the new blood coming into Pelham and also the old blood coming back,” Councilmember Chad Leverett said. “It is exciting to see the growth, especially with the EMS initiative that we have talked about for so long over the last year. I’m still amazed that our resuscitation rate is over 50 percent, which is way above the national average. With the leadership we have in Pelham from Gretchen as city manager and down through all of the department heads, I am honored to live in this city.”