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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

After nearly 46 years of service, Jimmy Anthony is hanging up his firefighter’s hat for the final time.

The longtime chief of the Hartsville/Trousdale Volunteer Fire Department has decided to retire and is being celebrated for his lengthy service to the people of Trousdale County.

Anthony, 67, said the decision was one he had been contemplating for some time.

“I’ve been looking at it a while. I’ve been there nearly 46 years and I think that’s enough,” Anthony said.

Chris Gregory / Hartsville Vidette
Jimmy Anthony, center, receives congratulations from Mayor Carroll Carman and State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver. Anthony is retiring after nearly 46 years with the Volunteer Fire Department.

The owner of Anthony Funeral Home started with the VFD in June 1972 and was promoted to chief in 1988. He said things have changed considerably in that time.

“When I came on, there wasn’t any training,” Anthony said. “No OSHA, just two trucks and y’all put out fires. That’s all there was to it.

“In 46 years, it’s changed tremendously. We have to follow guidelines, all kinds of things. A volunteer chief has to have an exceptional amount of time to do what needs to be done these days.”

Deputy chief Mark Beeler will take over as interim chief until a permanent replacement is named. Beeler was voted on by the other members of the department and was confirmed on a 30-day interim basis by the County Commission.

Ken Buckmaster has been promoted to assistant chief and Danny Sullins has been promoted to captain.

Anthony thanked the fellow members of the VFD for making his time as chief an enjoyable one.

“Those other 15 or so firemen are the ones that keep it going. Without them, there is no fire department. They deserve all the credit.”

Anthony received resolutions thanking him for his service from the County Commission and from State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver during last Monday’s Commission meeting.

“Thank you for your exceptional work and paramount dedication throughout the years,” County Mayor Carroll Carman said. “Our best wishes go to you in your retirement.”

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.