After a long time in the works Jim will be fulfilling a dream and has accepted a job with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department. Jim will be spending the next few weeks completing an abbreviated academy before he is integrated within the ranks of Myrtle Beach as an active Fire Fighter.
Jim leaves The Palmer Municipal Fire Department after 9 years of Service. Jim’s service includes being an active Firefighter before he took on the role of Fire Marshal in 2013. Fire Marshal Alercia began the journey of building an investigative unit within our department and worked tirelessly to do it. In 2016 Jim continued his work with the investigative unit but was also promoted to Deputy Chief of the department where he has maintained this title.
As the lead fire investigator, Jim was successful in conviction of a suspect for double homicide with arson at a dwelling fire in 2019. Jim worked on this case night and day for months on end. Jim and the investigative team within the department are also responsible for cause and origin investigations of multiple fire incidents within Palmer Township and neighboring municipalities.
As the years went on, we continued to see Jim reach further out into the community helping with Fire Prevention, building our “Helping Hands” organization where we worked with community partners giving back to the community and families in need. Toys for tots, shop with a cop, Tunnels for towers, are a few that come to mind.
Additionally, Jim found passion in teaching “Active Shooter” classes holding tabletop exercises, and meeting with local businesses to implement plans should they have the need to use them. Most recently, Jim was working with county Fire Department resources to develop a County wide active shooter response team.
Jim was a very active Chief and responded to many calls during his tenure, commanding a list of working fires over the years and hundreds of less severe incidents. Jim took training to the next level, always trying to make the department and himself better.
A special thank you to Colene Alercia! Colene was not Commanding calls, fighting fire, or working at motor vehicle accidents with Jim, but was a very integrated part of our department. An important administrative role most take for granted. Our Annual Firefighter Banquet, Santa Toy Run, Palmer Community Weekend, PMFD clothing orders, Helping Hands, cleaning, setting up, coordinating all PMFD Special Events. Again the list goes on and on. THANK YOU!
Before closing out the 2022 year the department voted unanimously to award Jim his life membership – an award given to members who achieve ten cumulative years of active service. As of this date Jim will be known as Life Member and Past Chief of the Palmer Municipal Fire Department.
On behalf of our entire membership, we wish you both nothing but success and happiness as you make the move to your new home, new careers, and new life. A huge congratulations and THANK YOU for everything both of you did from all of us. Be well and we will see you soon!