Forsyth County Fire Chief Danny Bowman stood at attention, facing Brenda Green as the two followed the formal promotion ceremony of the department.
A quick wink from Bowman brought evidence of a smile to her otherwise serious face.
Family, friends and firefighters gathered Friday night to congratulate four employees on their new ranks during the department’s promotional ceremony at the Forsyth County Public Safety Complex.
Jason Shivers, Kevin Wallace and Green each earned the title of division chief, and Keith Pertschi was named a lieutenant.
Bowman said he could “not be more proud” after the new ranks had been pinned on and the four were ready to officially fulfill their new roles.
Both Wallace and Green received newly created positions, which Bowman said were designed to ensure “safety of the firefighters and efficiency of spending public funds.”
Wallace, formerly the division chief of the fire marshal’s office, will now serve as the division chief of field operations.
Starting his career at the department in 1997, he has been with the county since the days it was an all-volunteer force.
Green also started her work with Forsyth County Fire in those years, with a position in 1995.
She was promoted Friday from senior administrative assistant to the newly created division chief of fire administration.
Green is the first woman to achieve the rank of chief in the local department.
“I hope in this position I’m a great asset to the department,” she said, adding that she’s been honored to be a part of the team working to keep up with the county’s growth.
Shivers was a part of the first paid group of 30 firefighters in Forsyth County, starting in 1998.
He was formally promoted from his captain rank to the position of division chief of technical services during the ceremony.
Bowman said Shivers “does everything that everybody else doesn’t do.”
“I’m telling you, he does all of those things that very strangely hit the fire chief’s desk every day,” he said.
Pertschi, who began work with Forsyth in 2004, was promoted from firefighter II to lieutenant, in which he will oversee an area in the northwestern corner of the county.
Bowman said the difference in his positions is ensuring that the employees he oversees return home safe each day.
Bowman praised the promoted group for working throughout the prior night to keep the department running through backup systems after a power failure at the complex caused the main system to go down.
“These are the types of individuals you’re promoting and to take those slots that I am filling at this time,” he said. “These are the individuals that will never miss a beat when [the fire chief] walks out the door.”