Blaine Parsons, a third-generation firefighter and current department captain, has been named Unity's new fire chief, effective when current Chief David Smith steps down at the end of the month. Smith said he does not have the time that the chief position requires.

His father, Blaine "T-Pot" H. Parsons Sr., was a 35-year veteran of the department, and his grandmother, Ferne Parsons, served with Fire Department and Ambulance Service. Unity's annual "T-Pot" Fishing Derby  is named in honor of Parsons' father and his love of ice fishing.

Parsons' firefighter career began 26 years ago at age 12 in middle school.

"I was getting into trouble and my father and Robert Jones, fire chief at the time, gave me an ultimatum — to join the Fire Department," recalls Parsons. "I believe wholeheartedly they put me on the right path."

Parsons will oversee all operations, budgetary and life-saving issues as chief of the department. Currently, there are 17 active firefighters and 15 "fire explorers" — junior members volunteering in collaboration with the Boy Scouts.

If anyone is interested in finding out more information about becoming a volunteer firefighter, weekly meetings are held every Monday at 7 p.m. at the fire station, located on Fire House Lane.

Parsons noted there are administrative and custodial type jobs that do not require one to be on the front lines. For more information, contact Parsons directly at 660-3536 or at the station by calling 948-5762.