On June 7, 2023 at the Western North Carolina 2023 Salute to Heroes, the American Red Cross recognized local heroes, ordinary people who perform extraordinary acts every day.

Burnsville Fire Chief Niles Howell was honored as a community hero for his continued,  invaluable service to the Town of Burnsville and greater Yancey County. Chief Howell has been in the fire service for 25 years and served as Burnsville Fire Chief for the last 20 years.

Niles Howell has always been an important resource, advocate and friend to his community and beyond. On countless occasions, he has helped fight house fires, conduct search and rescue operations, help coordinate life saving blood drives, secured numerous grants, and taught fire safety education in the schools.

In 2021, his passion and perseverance were essential to bringing a modern, state of the art fire station to the people of Burnsville. Under Chief Howell’s leadership, the new Burnsville fire station ushers in an unprecedented era of fire protection capabilities for the Burnsville Fire Department.

Salute to Local Hero – Chief Niles Howell