Newkirk promoted to Emergency Services Director

Published 3:08 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

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By BRANDON TESTER / Beaufort County Government

WASHINGTON, N.C. — Chris Newkirk has been promoted to permanent Beaufort County Emergency Services Director after almost one year of leading the department on an interim basis. 

Newkirk’s first day in his new role was May 1, 2023. He’d been serving as interim Emergency Services Director since June 2022. Newkirk took over for retired Emergency Services Director Carnie Hedgepeth, who served in that role since 2017. 

As Emergency Services Director, Newkirk oversees the county’s Animal Control, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Marshal divisions. 

“Chris has done an outstanding job in leading the department over the past year,” County Manager Brian Alligood said. “His passion, dedication and commitment to excellence show every day and are why he is the right person to keep the department moving forward.” 

Newkirk joined Beaufort County Emergency Services in July 2017 as Emergency Management Director. 

Before Beaufort County, Newkirk worked with Greenville Fire/Rescue for approximately 15 years. He started there in 2002 and worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant. He was also a fire and EMS instructor at Pitt Community College for 12 years. 

Newkirk also served on the N.C. Urban Search and Rescue Task Force. 

Newkirk holds an associate degree in Emergency Medical Sciences from Lenoir Community College. 

“I’m very proud of the working relationships we’ve established since 2017,” Newkirk said. “We’re really proud of how those have evolved, and we’re proud of the spirit our first responders have when it comes to serving the community. I’m excited to see how those relationships continue to progress.” 

Newkirk resides in Beaufort County with his wife, Mekenzie. They have two daughters, Skyler and Nora.