- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Officials say ten applicants, including five Starkville firefighters, are vying to become the city’s next fire chief.

Personnel Director Randy Boyd tells The Commercial Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1w75Y5k) the five internal candidates include Fire Marshal Stein McMullen, Battalion Chief Curtis Randle, Capt. Andy Sharp, Firefighter Heath Vaughn and Training Officer Charles Yarbrough.

Starkville’s human resources department also released the names of the external candidates - Jimmy N. Austin, Michael R. Chandler, Christopher D. Gale, Keith G. Juneau and Terry J. Tucker.

Of the five external candidates, three are currently working for fire departments in north Mississippi, and two are out-of-state applicants, Boyd said in an email.

Aldermen have yet to review applicants’ qualifications in an effort to determine a finalist pool, but interviews are expected to be held during the March 17 board meeting.

Former Chief Rodger Mann retired at the end of February, ending a 33-year career with the city.

McMullen, 40, previously confirmed his interest in the job to The Dispatch. He joined SFD as a firefighter in 1996 and later was promoted to fire inspector. In 2005, he was promoted to one of the city’s two fire marshal positions.

Randle, a 25-year veteran of SFD, serves as one of the department’s three battalion chiefs. He did not return a phone call Wednesday.

Sharp, 60, joined SFD as a firefighter in 1990. He has worked through the ranks since then, earning promotions to sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Sharp has also served as an acting battalion chief off and on for about a year.

Vaughn has served the city for about 15 years.

Yarbrough, who turns 43 on Friday, joined the department as a firefighter in 1995. He was promoted to sergeant and lieutenant shortly after but decided to pursue an administrative career through training and educational efforts. He was named training officer in 2008.

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Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, https://www.cdispatch.com

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