HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Huntsville Fire Chief Michael K. Sublett is retiring. The announcement was made official Thursday morning at a news conference. Sublett will step down April 1. Deputy Chief Howard “Mac” McFarlen will serve as Interim Fire Chief until a permanent replacement is hired.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Huntsville,” said Chief Sublett in a news release. “A career in the fire service is very rewarding. Because we work 24 hour shifts and function as a team, you become very close and it’s like having a second family. I sincerely appreciate the support this family has shown to me in my role as Fire Chief. This schedule does impact personal family time so I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, children, and four grandchildren.”
Chief Sublett has worked for Huntsville Fire & Rescue for 38 years.
“Mike has been an outstanding public servant, and it is with great reluctance that we accept the Chief’s decision to retire,” said Mayor Tommy Battle in a news release. “The public can never fully understand the level of commitment and personal sacrifice it takes to serve and lead in public safety. Mike is one of the best, and while we will miss his leadership, we will continue to benefit from his mentorship in the form of new public safety officers under his direction.”
Mayor tommy Battle says the application process for a new fire chief will remain internal because he says there are so many qualified leaders already within the Huntsville Fire Department.