For nearly two decades Bruce Nelson has served in the ranks of the Orange Beach Fire Department and on Tuesday night, he officially earned the rank of Battalion Chief.
During a pinning ceremony at the start of the Orange Beach City Council meeting, Fire Chief Justin Pearce said Nelson has been an integral part of the department for 19 years.
“He’s been instrumental in the dive team, actually he founded the dive team,” Chief Pearce said. “The marine program, our hazardous material response, he’s been leading the way on a lot of fronts, so I feel like this is going to be an easy, natural transition for him. And I’m very proud of Bruce.”
Nelson’s wife handled the pinning on his uniform as his parents, in-laws and son looked on among a packed council chambers Tuesday night.
“No one deserves it more than you, Bruce,” Mayor Tony Kennon said. “I appreciate you very much. All that you’ve done and all of the initiatives that you’ve taken and made happen. It’s a big deal.”
Battalion Chief Nelson will be assigned to C Shift beginning Saturday, August 11.