Jay Mebane named Chapel Hill Fire Chief

Chapel Hill Fire Chief appointee Jay Mebane


By Carl Blankenship

CHAPEL HILL —  A fire service leader from a nearby town will take over the top job for Chapel Hill.

Jay Mebane is Burlington’s current fire chief and will take over for Vencelin Harris in Chapel Hill upon Harris’ retirement. Chapel Hill Interim Town Manager made the announcement Friday. Mebane has served Burlington for more than 15 years.

“Chief Mebane stood out from a very talented pool of fire leaders, and his record of leadership with the City of Burlington and Burlington Fire Department have prepared him well to continue the good work of Chief Harris and the members of the Chapel Hill Fire Department,” Blue said in a press release.

Mebane said he is looking forward to building on the legacy established by prior chiefs.

“The commitment from the members of the Chapel Hill Fire Department, town management, and elected officials is inspiring to say the least,” Mebane said. “ We are committed to providing an exceptional level of service and understand the level of trust and honor that is bestowed upon us as firefighters.”

Mebane started his public service career with the Burlington Police Department’s animal services division in 2006 and joined the city fire department in 2008. He became a captain in 2016, assistant chief in 2018, and was appointed as the city’s inspections director in 2019. He became fire chief in 2020.

Mebane is a native of Burlington and holds an associate degree from Durham Technical Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Fayetteville State University, and is a 2022 master of public affairs degree graduate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Mebane has completed numerous other leadership and fire service certifications.

Mebane will lead a staff of about 100 employees working from five fire stations.

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