When it comes to fire prevention, doing something simple can save lives. When the new Edgecombe County Deputy of Emergency Service, Deputy Fire Marshall Mark Rogerson, speaks on fire safety, he conveys that message.
"One of the first things that I ask people when I'm talking about fire safety for the home is, 'When you go to go to bed at night what is one the things you do so that people will not come in and get you?— Lock your doors.
"When you lock your doors, what is one of things that you have to walk by? — the fire alarm. How many times do you think about testing the fire alarm to see if it is working? It's good question to ask because it gets them thinking."
Rogerson was hired in June to replace George Cherry who spent eight years in the position. As the retired fire chief for the Tarboro Fire Department, Cherry's aptitude in emergency services was extremely high. Rogerson understands he has big shoes to fill, but he is up to the task.
"It's hard to say that I'm going to bring anything different that has already been here," he said. "I just want to continue the services that we're providing for the community. I know that Butch has done a great job and so did George. I just want to extend that into the future."
Rogerson has 22 years of firefighting experience including his last stint with the Elizabeth City Fire Department. His Fire Protection Technician degree, along with his experience on Williamston's Hazmat (Hazard Material) Team, has earned him high praise from his boss, Edgecombe County emergency manager Butch Beach.
But his love for helping people in the time need may be even a more valuable asset to the county than his firefighting degrees and certificates.
"I like helping people. To know what I did or what I said helped save a life, that's a good feeling," Rogerson said.
Rogerson's duties include inspecting county buildings for fire codes, investigates illegal burning, and assist Edgecombe County Emergency units with issues that may be above their means.
"Mark's efforts are a continuation of what George left," Beach said. "George plowed new grounds for us and we will continue. Mark is the man we need for this position."