After 27 years with the Charlotte Fire Department, Capt. Rob Brisley, the longtime public information officer, announced he was retiring on Thursday.
My role in public safety, from the early years on the Big Red Truck, to public affairs, and working on some really cool movie sets (Color Purple, Eddie and Homeland that continues to ROCK!) have exposed me to phenomenal opportunities for growth and that next career, Brisley said in a post on his Facebook page.
Brisley, 52, became the official face and voice of the department on July 2, 1994, following the crash of USAir Flight 1016. As he and other firefighters huddled around a fire radio, listening to the grisly details of the crash, then-Deputy Fire Chief Roger Weaver called Brisley.
It was a three-second conversation and he said something like Get to the emergency communications center now, Brisley said in an Observer profile in 2000. I handled calls from the local and national media and even talked to the BBC in England. During that tragedy, the public information position was created.
Over the last 19 years, he also traveled to other cities and towns in the Charlotte region, helping firefighters deal with large events that attract significant media attention. He also provides media relations, crisis communications, and public affairs training for first responders throughout North Carolina as an instructor for N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.
Brisleys last day is Jan. 3.
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