Meet the Fire Administration

Chief Locklear

Fire Chief
Damien Locklear

Email:  Damien.Locklear@ci.kinston.nc.us
Phone:  252-939-3164

Chief Locklear started with the Kinston Department of Fire & Rescue in January 2019.  Previous fire service experience includes affiliations with Evans Cross Roads Fire Department, Cumberland Road Fire Department, and the City of Fayetteville Fire Department.  Since starting his career in 2005, Chief Locklear has been afforded the opportunity to serve in many capacities to include Suppression/Operations, Recruitment, Fire & Life Safety Education, Training, and Administration. 


Chief Locklear is certified in many areas of the fire service.  Some of these include; Fire Officer III, Technical Rescuer, Fire Instructor II, Fire & Life Safety Education III, Chief 101, and Emergency Medical Technician.  Chief Locklear holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Waldorf University, Forest City, Iowa.  

Chief Locklear believes strongly in the current mission of the department and has placed his focus on a proactive vision for the department’s future.  One that is based on continuous improvement moving forward as we provide the highest level of professional service to our customers through Pride, Proficiency & Integrity.  The foundation of this vision begins with a high emphasis on Training, Physical Fitness & Mental Health, Community Involvement, Pride & Ownership, Communication, and Morale. 


Commander E. L. Davis

Deputy Chief
Earnest L. Davis


​Email:  Ernie.Davis@ci.kinston.nc.us

​Phone:  252-526-2712


Deputy Chief Davis began his career with the Department in May of 1989. In 1992 Deputy Chief Davis was among one of the first Firefighters to be officially tasked as being the Fire Cause and Origin Investigators for the Department.  During his tenure Deputy Chief Davis rose quickly through the ranks due to his dedication and service and was promoted to Captain in January of 1994.  

Deputy Chief Davis has served as Personnel Development and Safety Captain in 1995 and in 2010 when he received North Carolina Level II Fire Inspector Certification, was tasked with the great responsibility of keeping up with Inspections and Fire Incident Records for the Department of Fire and Rescue while still on Shift as a Front-line Fire Captain.  

Deputy Chief Davis was promoted to Commander in in July of 2016 and is over the Administration Staff.  His main concentration of duties involves Head of Fire Cause and Origin Investigations, Fire Inspections, Fire Incident Records, and Training and Safety.  In March of 2019 his position was reclassified as Deputy Chief of the Department. 

Capt. Barss

Administration Captain
William J. Barss III


​Email:  William.Barss@ci.kinston.nc.us

Phone:  252-526-2713



Captain Barss began his career with the Department in November of 1998.  Captain Barss expressed his interest in serving in the experimental program of Special Response Unit, under the merger of the Kinston Department of Public Safety where the Administration of the Fire and Police integrated a team of five Firefighters and five Police Officers and taught them the other skills of the merged program.  In December of 2004 Captain Barss successfully completed Basic Law Enforcement Training and in April of 2005 was sworn in as a Public Safety Officer.  Captain Barss was assigned to Special Response Unit 2 and served for six years on the street doing both Firefighting and Law Enforcement.  

During that time Captain Barss was assigned as the Unit's Evidence Identification Technician which sparked interest in the Crime Scene Investigations.  In January of 2011 Captain Barss was promoted over to Crime Laboratory Unit Detective and served for five years in that position.  Captain Barss was afforded the opportunity to return to the Department of Fire and Rescue upon the split of Kinston Department of Public Safety to their perspective Departments of Fire and Rescue and Police.  Captain Barss was tasked as becoming the Administration Captain and promoted to Captain in July of 2016.  

Captain Barss has  several functions to his role within the Department of Fire and Rescue; such as Fire Origin and Cause Investigator and is still a sworn Law Enforcement Officer and serves as the manager of the Origin and Cause Fire Investigations Team, Public Information Officer, Fire-Life Safety Educator/Public Education Coordinator, Emergency Planner, Insurance Services Office (ISO) Rating Liaison Officer, and Community Relations Liaison Officer.  In August of 2018 Captain Barss received his Certification as a Fire Investigations Technician from the International Association of Arson Investigators.  

Captain Barss served Our Country for four years in the United States Marine Corps from August 1993 to August 1997.



Capt. Young

Training Captain
David M. Young


​Email:  David.Young@ci.kinston.nc.us

Phone:  252-939-3939



Captain Young started his firefighting career as a volunteer in is home town located in Pennsylvania before joining the Air Force. He now proudly serves his residential community as a lieutenant for the Dudley Volunteer Fire Department.  Captain Young started his Career at Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue in July of 2014. During his time at Kinston, Captain Young was assigned to Engine 11, and Engine 22 as the firefighter before moving up to drive Engine 11 as a Master Fire Control Specialist.  Captain Young was promoted to his current position in March of 2019. Captain Young's main responsibility is Training and Safety for the Department.  Captain Young also oversees the Department's Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Program, and serves distinctly as a member of the Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue Honor Guard. 

Captain Young served Our Country for seven years in the United States Air Force as an Air Force Firefighter, from December 2006 through January 2014. 


Inspector Kearney

Fire Inspector
K. Brock Kearney

​Email:  Brock.Kearney@ci.kinston.nc.us

Phone:  252-939-3228



Inspector Kearney began his career in the fire service as a volunteer in 2008 in his home town of Shine, NC, where he is still an active member. This is where his interest and passion for fire prevention began. Inspector Kearney was hired into the newly created Fire Inspector position in October of 2018. Prior to the inception of this position, fire inspections were completed at the company level.

Before his career began with the City of Kinston, Inspector Kearney was the Fire Inspector and Emergency Management Coordinator with Greene County Emergency Services. Inspector Kearney holds many certifications within the emergency services field and completed a Bachelor degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from Western Carolina University.


Jessi Tyler

Administration Assistant  
Jessi Tyler


Email:  Jessi.Tyler@ci.kinston.nc.us
Phone:  252-939-3164



Mrs. Jessi Tyler attended Lenoir Community College and completed with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration.  While attending she served the community at Chick-fil-A of Kinston and after 3 years of service she transitioned from a Trainer to a Shift Leader. When Mrs. Tyler completed her degree she was given an opportunity with the City of Kinston.

Mrs. Tyler began her career with the City of Kinston at the Police Department in October of 2016.  She began as a Records Technician and quickly became certified to use Nationwide Databases for Law Enforcement purposes.  She was also trained within the organization to use new computer systems for the local departmental uses to accurately give information to citizens who would need records, such as incident and accident reports. 

Mrs. Tyler continues her business journey with the City of Kinston as the Administrative Assistant for the Kinston Department of Fire and Rescue as of September 2017. She desires to serve her community well and do anything she can to help her family here at the Fire Department or out in the city.