The City Council named Cecil “Buddy” Martinette, Jr. as Wilmington fire chief. The Council voted unanimously to select Martinette as chief during a special session on Wednesday, July 9.
Martinette, currently assistant county administrator in Hanover County, Virginia, was one of four finalists selected from a nationwide search conducted by Emergency Consulting Services Inc.
According to the city’s charter, the City Council hires the fire chief and police chief. Mayor Bill Saffo says the Council had many impressive candidates, but Martinette stood out because of his experience and educational accomplishments. “Buddy brings us not only extensive experience at all levels of fire fighting, but also local government leadership and emergency management,” Saffo said. “We are very pleased and look forward to Buddy’s arrival.”
Martinette will begin his employment on September 2. “I very much appreciate the support and confidence of the City Council and City Manager. It will be an honor for me to accept this position and then continue to build on the great work already being done by the men and women of the Wilmington Fire Department.”
Martinette has served in his current position since 2006 and prior to that was Fire/EMS chief for Lynchburg, Virginia. As assistant county administrator, Martinette oversees the Fire and EMS Department and several other departments with more than 450 personnel in a county of approximately 100,000 residents. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Hampton University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy State University.