HomeNewsDarryl Samuels retires as Jackson Fire Chief, after 37 years of service

Darryl Samuels retires as Jackson Fire Chief, after 37 years of service

After 37 years dedicated to the Jackson Fire Department, Chief Darryl Samuels retired at the end of February. The City of Jackson held a reception for him, while swearing in Don Friddle as Chief. 

During his speech, Samuels gave advice to the people in the room, saying, “It’s not about how much you know, but about how much you care.” 

That sentiment was shared around the room, as friends, coworkers, and family told stories of their time working with Samuels, from driving charter buses for Lane College athletics, to hiring long-time members of the fire department.  

Mayor Conger said because of that sentiment, and his leadership, he considers Samuels’ promotion from “Interim Chief” to “Chief” one of the greatest accomplishments of his time as mayor. 

“His service, his leadership and deep commitment to the men and women in uniform, and love of the community, speak to his career. He has devoted his entire life to public safety and to the firefighters who have risked their lives to protect ours,” Conger said. 

Samuels started his career in 1975, and said they were riding the backs of firetrucks at the time. The same truck that cost $100,000 then, costs upwards of $900,000 now. 

Since becoming Chief in 2019, he oversaw the purchase of seven new “state of the art” apparatus, calling it one of the highlights of his career. 

“It has been my privilege and extreme honor to serve as the fire chief for the city of Jackson and its visitors as they come into Jackson. It has been a rewarding career. I think that everything that we do as public safety, specifically the fire department, we’re public servants. We do for you what you can do for yourself. That’s what government is all about. Fire mitigation, public education, life-saving services. That’s what we’re all about. And our mission is to provide those services for the city of Jackson. And that’s what we do every day. Thank you so much,” Samuels said.

Samuels plans to take a few weeks off work, and return to consulting for different public safety departments. 

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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