After months of searching and sorting through applications, the city of Martinsburg settled on an experienced veteran as their new fire chief.
“I’m retired military. I’ve spent over 20 years in the air force as a fire fighter,“ said J.D. Hummingbird, new fire chief of Martinsburg. “I accepted a position in the city of Artesia, New Mexico as their fire chief up until I retired back in 2017.“
However, Hummingbird wasn’t looking to retire just yet.
“Mr. Hummingbird obviously — moving from New Mexico to Berkeley County approximately two years ago, made application,“ said Mark Baldwin, city manager. “We did about six different interviews, and Mr. Humming bird was our choice.“
With experience as a fire chief, Hummingbird says that both Artesia and Martinsburg are similar in size.
“However, the call-volume is not quite as high as it is here,“ said Hummingbird. “But I still see the same challenges in managing this department as I did in managing the one in Artesia.“
But as Hummingbird is still new to the position, he plans on starting off by familiarizing himself with the departments and personnel first.
“Oh there’s always challenges in the fire department,“ said Hummingbird. “The people here… they’re pretty good at what they do, so I’m going to work with them, they’ll work with me and we’ll continue to move forward.“
The previous fire chief, Paul Bragg, resigned in December of 2018.