ATLANTIC – Tom Cappel has been elected to be the next fire chief in Atlantic. Pending approval of the Atlantic City Council, he will start in the position on Jan. 1, 2020. Atlantic Fire Chief Mark McNees announced recently he would be stepping down from the position, and the election was held earlier this week.

Cappel said he was honored to be selected for the job.

“I’m honored to be elected,” Cappel said on Thursday. “We have a great department. Great Volunteers. And Great Paid Guys. And we’ll keep moving forward (with training) to keep doing our job.”

McNees said Cappel’s dedication and experience -he’s been on the job for over 20 years- makes him a good candidate for fire chief.

“From a firefighter stand point, he knows what he’s doing,” McNees said. “He’s very involved and dedicated. I think he’s got, like many of (the other firefighters), many of the qualities needed to lead. I applaud him and the others who put themselves up for the job. They know they’re taking on a big responsibility and the fact that they put themselves out there for election and for the community just speaks volumes about them.”

Cappel was named Firefighter of the Year back in 2017, and said back then part of the reason he joined the department was to support the community.

“(I wanted) to help serve the community,” Cappel said. “Just growing up in the community, that’s what you do.”

Cappel said also said back then he believes all members of the department are dedicated to their jobs, and that’s what makes the department so successful.

“We have a great group of guys who are dedicated and volunteer their time, and we have a great department because of it,” Cappel said.