When one asks Hunter Aycock how he feels about being the new fire chief in Chipley, one word comes to mind: â€œexcited.â€
â€œIâ€™ve been aiming for this for a long time,â€ he said.
The role is a familiar one for the Aycock family since Hunter is taking over for his dad and former fire chief, Floyd Aycock.
â€œIâ€™m excited for him because I know itâ€™s a goal he set years ago,â€ Floyd said.
Floyd has retired after a long time serving for the Chipley Fire Department.
â€œI started volunteering here in December â€˜91,â€ Floyd said. â€œIt feels good (to retire) but thereâ€™s also that sense of leaving a lifestyle.â€
The Aycock boys both said Floyd will be back after a required one-year retirement period.
â€œWe wonâ€™t let him off that easy,â€ Hunter quipped.
As for Hunter, he started his firefighting career around 10 years ago.
â€œI like helping people,â€ Hunter said. â€œI like the problem solving, adrenaline rush. It definitely takes a special kind of person.â€
Due to his new role, Hunter will be working five days a weekâ€“a transition from the shift work heâ€™s used to.
â€œGoing from a 24/48 schedule to five days a week will take some adjustment,â€ Hunter said. â€œIâ€™ll be with my family and kids more. I think itâ€™ll be a good thing. Iâ€™ll miss the shift, the other lifestyle.â€
Shift work was â€œawesomeâ€ since the shift crew was like another family, Hunter said.
â€œQuite a lot of them are friends too,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s not like Iâ€™m leaving them.â€
The younger Aycock is taking his new chief role on a day-to-day basis.
â€œI knew what I wanted to do when I was a kid,â€ he said.