PENDER COUNTY — Pender EMS & Fire has named career firefighter Danny Grafius as its new fire division chief.
Grafius retired from the Wilmington Fire Department as battalion operations chief in August 2021, following 31 years of service. In this role, Grafius was responsible for the coordination of activities on each assigned shift, including managing fire suppression operations and emergency incidents.
Pender EMS & Fire Director Everett Baysden said Grafius is more than qualified in all aspects of fire service, from water rescues to structure fires.
“He was exactly the kind of person we were looking for,” Baysden said in a press release.
Grafius said he heard about the open fire division chief position from several local firefighters who had reached out to him.
“It would have been easy to stay retired,” he said in the release. “But I asked myself, ‘What do I have left to give and how can I help?’”
He added his first order of business will be to address recruiting, operations and training, with a goal to have a fully staffed fire division by the end of May.
“Hiring is a challenge,” Baysden said. “When people are running from a burning structure, our people are running into the fire. The job is rewarding but requires training.”
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