The People's Tribune

Louisiana Fire Department Elects New Chief As Mike Lesley Steps Down

Fire Fighters Honored By DAR
Representing the Pike County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR member Sandy Niemeyer thanks the members of the Louisiana Fire Department for their service to the community. Shown is Niemeyer presenting a cake to Fire Chief Mike Lesley for them to enjoy after their meeting on March 29, 2017. Also shown are firemen John Miller, Gene Traynor, Daniel Hawkins, Matt Bradley, Phillip Quattrocchi, Mike Poyser, Mike Chidster, and Brandon Brown. Rule Alexander and Rich Bland were unable to attend. Melissa Lesley was the photographer. Niemeyer expressed DAR’s appreciation for the job the firemen do to protect the citizens–while many times putting their own lives in jeopardy.

Long-time Louisiana Fire Chief Mike Lesley made the announcement last summer that he would be stepping down in command and recently the department held an election for his replacement.

Mike Poyser has taken over as acting chief. His official appointment as chief will take place at this month’s regular city council meeting on Monday, April 10.

Assistant Chief will continue to be Philip Quattrocchi, First Captain is Mike Chidster and Second Captain is Brandon Brown.

Lesley noted the only position that is changing is to take over the spot he’s held for the past almost 14 years.

“(Poyser) is a really good guy. He is very knowledgeable and experienced,” Lesley told The Trib on Monday.

In a memo to Mayor Bart Niedner and City Administrator Kelly Henderson last week, Lesley noted Poyser’s 25 years as a firefighter.

“He has been a captain, assistant chief and battalion chief in the past. I hop the city will work with him as you all did with me,” Lesley wrote about Poyser’s background.

Lesley said he simply came to the realization last year that it was time to pass the torch on to someone else.

“I just had a feeling it was time,” Lesley said. “I told the guys about a month before I announced it.”

He said his fondest memories of serving as chief has been the brotherhood of the department.

“If we’re out there working then someone is having a bad day. The brotherhood of it has been the best part.”

Lesley, a 24-year veteran of the Louisiana Fire Department, plans to remain active with the department for another year or so. He is also active in other pursuits as well. He operates Lesley’s on Georgia Street, he also drives a school bus, helps with his wife’s accounting business and is a photographer on the side.

“There’s no rest for the wicked,” he jokes.

Lesley noted that he’s worked with many excellent firefighters over the years and will miss some aspects of the experience.

“I’ve always had a really good support team and it’s always been appreciated.”

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