Chief Joey Darby of the Foley Fire Department was recognized as Fire Chief of the Year for the State of Alabama by the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs. The award was given at the annual meeting in Orange Beach on Aug. 10.
Darby has served as the Fire Chief of the City of Foley since January 5, 2009. Previously, he served the City of Auburn Fire Division from 1994 until coming to Foley, having worked through the ranks to Battalion Chief. He also served as Fire Chief of the Stillwater Volunteer Fire & Rescue Fire District from 2005 – 2008. He began his fire service career serving as a volunteer firefighter in his home community of Walnut Hill, Florida in 1992.
“Being recognized by my peers as the 2020 Alabama Fire Chief of the Year is a great honor, and I am humbled to have been selected. I have been blessed to serve the City of Foley, and I look forward to continuing in that service,” Darby said after the ceremony.
Darby says that his initial plans were to become an electrical engineer, but those changed when he had the opportunity to work for the City of Auburn as a student firefighter while attending Auburn University.
He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Engineering (now known as Biosystems Engineering) from AU in 1999, but at that time had already advanced to a full-time position with the Fire Division and had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Therefore, he made the decision to continue his career in the fire service.
He became active in the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs (AAFC) in 2006, and served on the executive board for many years, including president in 2013-2014. He also served as the AAFC appointment to the Alabama Fire College and Personnel Standards Commission for the past 8 years.