Chief retires after 30 years

At the annual Cople District VFD awards banquet on Jan. 18 in the Kinsale Firehouse, retiring Cople District VFD Chief Tommy Lewis got a very special salute from Del. Margaret Ransone, a lifelong Kinsale resident.

Del. Margaret Ransone presents retiring Cople District VFD Chief Tommy Lewis with a resolution in his honor unanimously passed by the General Assembly.

Del. Margaret Ransone presents retiring Cople District VFD Chief Tommy Lewis with a resolution in his honor unanimously passed by the General Assembly.

Calling him a “hometown hero” and referring to his retirement as a “bittersweet moment,” she rejoiced in the fact that Lewis isn’t going to leave Kinsale, where he lives in walking distance from the firehouse, and warned him that the department certainly was “not going to let him go.”

She presented him with a copy of a resolution in his honor which was drafted by O.J. Hickox and unanimously approved by both houses of the Virginia General Assembly.  (See resolution A4)

Lewis, who turned 60 on Halloween of 2013 (surprise party at the firehouse, OF COURSE), officially joined the department in 1971 at age 18 and has served as chief for 30 of the years since he first was elected to that office in 1981.

Hickox described Lewis as “a master of collaborative leadership,” as the department must juggle not only firefighting and emergency responses to vehicle and marine accidents and other medical emergencies, as well as handling hazardous material events.

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Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm