Newberry hires new fire chief

Fire Chief Ben Buckner makes his final call before retiring on Friday.

The City of Newberry has hired Alachua County Assistant Fire Chief Mike Vogel to serve as fire chief in Newberry after former Chief Ben Buckner retired on Friday. 

Vogel steps into the role with 29 years of fire experience, replacing Buckner who served the community for 28 years. Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe proclaimed June 17 as “Ben Buckner Day” in the city to honor the chief’s final day. 

“While we are sad to see Chief Buckner go, Newberry is very excited for the next chapter in our fire department’s history,” Marlowe said in a text. 

According to Newberry’s press release, Vogel wanted to be a firefighter as a child, and he fulfilled that dream in 1993 when he volunteered with a station after serving in the Marine Corps. A few years later, Vogel started a paid firefighter position and began moving up the ranks, serving in the Texan cities of Woodlands, Arlington and Paris. 

New Chief Mike Vogel.

“I see it as my responsibility to mentor, lead and manage the members of an organization,” Vogel said in the press release. 

With Alachua County Fire Rescue, Vogel headed training, hiring, promotions, policy review, discipline, health and safety, ISO, Fire Prevention and Investigations. 

Vogel married Amy Sue  27 years ago, and they have 5 children from the age of 10 to 23. 

Mike New, city manager for Newberry, said he was thrilled for Vogel to join the city staff. 

“Hiring a new fire chief was a competitive process for the city due to the department’s success and dedication to public service,” New said in the press release. “However, Mike stood out to the hiring committee as the best fit for the Newberry Fire Department. He is highly qualified and brings an incredible amount of experience with him.

You can watch Chief Buckner’s ceremonial final call on Newberry’s Facebook page

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