Fire Marshal Bates entered the emergency services in 1995 when he was hired by the City of Cleveland Police Department. Later he was hired and has worked for the Cleveland Fire Department since 2001. He has held the positions of Firefighter/ AEMT, Engineer, Company Officer, Shift Training Officer, and Fire Investigator. He holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an Associates from Cleveland State Community College. He has numerous certifications from the Tennessee Commission on Fire Fighting and numerous other certifications. He is a member of International Association of Fighters, International Association of Arson Investigators, and Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson.