Robert A. Parnell, a third generation firefighter, brings more than twenty-seven years of operational and tactical firefighting experience to public safety. Born and raised in New Jersey, he began his career with the Salisbury Fire Department in November of 1984.
Parnell has held the position of Firefighter, Engineer, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, and Chief of Fire Department Training prior to assuming the roles as Chief of the Department in April of 2004. In addition to his responsibilities as Fire Chief, Parnell also serves as the City's Emergency Management Coordinator.
Chief Parnell received his Bachelors Degree in Occupational Safety and Health from North Carolina A&T State University, and Associate Degrees in Fire Protection Engineering and Fire Science Technology. Additionally, Chief Parnell is a graduate of the National Fire Academy's "Executive Fire Officer" program, and Municipal Administration Certification through the University of North Carolina.
Community involvement includes serving as an active member of the Salisbury Rotary Club, Rowan County Fireman's Relief Board, North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs Interstate Mutual Aid System Committee, North Carolina Emergency Management, and Rowan County's Local Emergency Planning Committee.