Thursday April 29, 2021

New Fire Marshal draws on experience, desire to make a difference

Fire Marshal Jacob Thompson

Several years ago, Jacob Thompson set his sights on his future. A volunteer firefighter in Davidson County at the time, he aimed at a clear goal.

Fire service was already his passion. Thompson decided to make it a career.

“I knew I wanted a career in which I could make a difference in the world, but I needed one that would invest in me and my education,” Thompson said.

As Cabarrus County’s fire marshal, Thompson leads the Fire Services division of the Emergency Management Department. Fire services provides fire prevention through education, code enforcement and investigations. The fire marshal also works with local volunteer fire departments and oversees the Squad 410 manpower unit.

Thompson has been on the job for a couple months, and he’s already making headway, according to Emergency Management Director Steve Langer (who just so happens to be Thompson’s predecessor in the fire marshal role.)

“Jacob jumped right in,” Langer said. “He quickly met with all staff and the local fire chiefs so he can get to know each person. He also started reviewing and updating department guidelines.

“He’s a great fit.”

Following his stint as a volunteer, Thompson moved to variety of paid fire service roles at the City of Salisbury. He had moved up to acting captain before returning to Davidson County to work as a deputy fire marshal. He spent three years in that role before accepting the position with Cabarrus.

Asked about his leadership philosophy, Thompson said it’s simple. “I’m big on servant leadership. I want my employees to know that I’m here to support them and help them reach their goals. My job as a supervisor is not to be a boss, but to invest in them, because the best way I can serve the residents of Cabarrus County is to invest in my people.”

As for those county residents, “my door is always open,” he said. “My phone is always on. And I’m always willing to accept questions as is anybody in this department, because that’s the best way we can help.”

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