Chief Anthony Penland of the Swannanoa Volunteer Fire Department has earned a distinction that can’t be claimed by any other Buncombe County firefighter. On August 11, Penland was sworn in as President of the State Firefighters Association, becoming the very first person from a Buncombe County fire department to ever serve in that important post. The State Firefighters Association includes more than 51,000 members, representing more than 1,000 fire departments from all 100 of the state’s counties.
Penland, a graduate of Owen High School, joined the Swannanoa Volunteer Fire Department in 1990 as a way to give back to the community where he was raised. In 2015, Penland was named Career Fire Chief of the Year by the Western N.C. Association of Firefighters. He has also served as president of the Buncombe County Fire Chiefs Association.
Congratulations Chief Penland! You make Swannanoa proud.