NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – A historic changing of the guard happened in the City of North Myrtle Beach on Friday. NMB Fire Chief Garry Spain retired and passed the torch to Deputy Fire Chief Billy Floyd. Chief Floyd is the seventh person to lead the North Myrtle Beach Fire Department.
City Hall was packed with friends, family members, coworkers, retired first responders, and first responders from the area and abroad. They all came to recognize and honor Chief Spain and Chief Floyd.
Chaplain Jay Ortiz gave the welcome and invocation. Ortiz told the crowd it was a “bittersweet moment” because one close friend was retiring, and another close friend was earning a promotion that he deserved. Ortiz said no one can question the integrity and impact Chief Spain had on the department. Ortiz said both men have a personal relationship with God and quoted Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Mike Mahaney, the City Manager, spoke about his friendship with Chief Spain and how important it was that a dedicated leader like Chief Floyd was available to take the reins.
The new NMB Fire Chief gave praise to Chief Spain for spearheading several major projects, including securing a SAFER grant that allowed the department to add 12 additional personnel. “Chief Spain worked diligently to finalize plans for Fire Station 6, which will also house the City’s EOC,” Floyd said.
Chief Floyd took the oath of office using his personal Bible while his wife held it.
After the retirement ceremony, former NMB Fire Chief Garry Spain thanked the fellow agencies in the area that are always helpful in emergencies, including the Myrtle Beach Fire Department and Horry County Fire Rescue. Chief Spain also said that “Billy Floyd is the man for the job,” and he looks forward to the future of NMBFR with Chief Floyd leading the charge.
Chief Billy Floyd ended by saying he is, “thankful, humbled, and blessed,” and wants to be an instrument for God’s plan in life.