Behind the Lines: Fire Chief David Leath

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MINT HILL, NC – Thirty years ago, David Leath was working as a warehouse and office manager for a plumbing supply company when he witnessed an accident.  “I was with a friend one day and we pulled up on an accident,” recalls Leath.  “My friend was a nurse, and they were able to jump out and start doing things, and I just thought that was really cool to be able to help people.”

It was a turning point for Leath, who earned his EMT certification and started with the Mint Hill Fire Department as a volunteer.  Up until just a few years ago, Mint Hill had it’s own ambulance service, so Leath went on to earn his paramedic certification and was hired by the Town as a paramedic firefighter.  

A 36-year resident of Mint Hill, Leath can’t see being a firefighter anywhere else.  “When I came on in 1996, I saw there was an opportunity to grow with the department,” he says.  “There were only three full-time firefighters back then, and volunteers took over on nights and weekends.  I’ve had an opportunity to go to a larger Fire Department, but I didn’t.  I love my career here; it’s been about the best career I’ve ever had!”

For Leath, it just wouldn’t be the same without the dedicated men and women who work alongside him here in Mint Hill.  “I want the community to know they’ve got one of the best departments around,” he says.  “We’ve got some of the best firefighters on our shifts.  They’re very dedicated; they work hard, they train hard, they do an excellent job in all things.  I brag on them all the time.  If it weren’t for them my job would be a lot harder.”  

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: