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Saturday May 30th, 2015 4:40AM

Hall Co. names Hood Acting Chief of Fire Services, reassigns Kimbrell

By B.J. Williams
GAINESVILLE - In a move Hall County officials said is part of a larger effort to <br /> streamline Hall County's public safety department, Jeff Hood has been named Acting Chief of Hall County Fire Services, replacing David Kimbrell.<br /> <br /> Hood has been serving as Deputy Chief for Hall County Fire Services since January 2014.<br /> <br /> In a press statement released Monday afternoon, Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton said Kimbrell will assume the full-time position of Emergency Management Director, a position he previously split with his duties as fire chief. <br /> <br /> Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton said placing one person over each agency will allow Hood and Kimbrell to focus more fully on their specific areas of expertise and increase the safety of and service to Hall County citizens.<br /> <br /> The restructuring of the department comes in the middle of an investigation into a July 22 training accident that left three Hall County firefighters with serious injuries. A ladder truck, purchased by the county earlier this year, collapsed, dropping the firefighters more than 40 feet.<br /> <br /> Knighton would not confirm that the restructuring had anything to do with the incident.<br /> <br /> "Until the investigation is complete, it would not be wise to draw any conclusions at all with respect to what transpired on that particular day with that training incident," said Knighton.<br /> <br /> There is no word on when the investigation might be finished.<br /> <br /> Knighton said he met with the fire department's battalion chiefs Monday morning to explain the change in duties for Hood and Kimbrell.<br /> <br /> "They all understood and were supportive and will be supportive of Jeff Hood," said Knighton. "I think with Jeff - his background, his leadership capabilities - that the Fire Services Department will remain strong."<br /> <br />
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