Fire chief to take early retirement – Rocky Mount Telegram

The Gate Keeper’s response: Thank you Varnell for your years of service.

Longtime Rocky Mount Fire Chief Mike Varnell handed in his retirement papers Thursday afternoon.

An Edgecombe County native, Varnell became fire chief in 2015 after 26 years with the department. He’s retiring earlier than expected, hanging up his hat in April rather than the end of the year.

“I was waiting on the city manager to make it public,” Varnell said.

The Telegram learned of Varnell’s decision late Thursday from a source within City Hall.

City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney said she is thankful for Varnell’s dedicated and unwavering service to the city.

“He was pivotal in the department’s accreditation and in many other successes,” Small-Toney said. “He should be proud of his role as a true leader of the Rocky Mount Fire Department. He will be missed.” (Read more)