CATAWBA COUNTY – The chairman of the Sherrills Ford fire department’s board of directors says it will be difficult to replace the agency’s outgoing fire chief.
Keith Bost, an 11-year veteran of Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue (SFTFR), resigned unexpectedly in late February.
In his letter of resignation, Bost said he “cannot be unified in a direction the board wants to take the department,” said Chuck Connor, chairman of the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue Board of Directors.
“He has some other opportunities in front of him, and we are losing a good man,” Connor said. “He’s been here 11 years and in fire service for 18 years. He’s been a good friend.”
Connor said the resignation was unexpected, but has nothing to do with anything unethical or immoral. Rumors about Bost’s announcement have circled throughout Catawba County since he submitted his letter of resignation Feb. 23.
Connor said the rumors are not true.
“I’ve heard some of the rumors. He did none of that stuff,” Connor said. “We audit the department every year and there’s no fooling around going around the department.”
The department was chartered in 1969 and went into operation in April 1972. In 1998, Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire Department merged with the Sherrills Ford Rescue Squad to create one of the few area departments with services for fire, rescue and medical calls.
It currently has about 14 paid firefighters and about 15-20 volunteers, Connor said.
Attempts to reach Bost were unsuccessful on Tuesday.
A Sherrills Ford volunteer battalion chief also resigned from the department recently. Connor said he did not know the name of the battalion chief or why he resigned.
Bost’s resignation was accepted by the board on Feb. 24.
Now, Sherrills Ford Deputy Chief Justin Butler is in command, and the board will start the job-posting and interview process for a new chief soon, Connor said.
“He’s going to be hard to replace,” Connor said. “He’s well thought of not only in the county, but the state as well.”