By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Retiring Rural and City of Licking Fire Chief Jimmy Sherrill was recognized for his 24-years of public service on Saturday, May 6, at a retirement party held in his honor.
Firefighters, family, the fire department board, city officials and friends gathered to wish Sherrill the very best and acknowledge his service and commitment to the community and the fire department.
“It was a tough decision,” said Sherrill. “Family was a big part of the decision. Katie and the kids understood my time gone, but the grandkids did not. After personal and family health issues in 2015 there has been a greater pull towards family.”
A large supportive part of Sherrill’s service was family, including wife, Kathryn; daughter, Ashley McDonald; son, Jacob Sherrill; and grandchildren; who missed family time, and shared concerns for the safety and protection of Sherrill, the other firefighters and their community.
“It’s been very rewarding as fire chief, but it may be time for new energy in the department, and I’ll still be around to help if necessary.” Sherrill continued, “Aaron’s going to do a good job; it’ll be an easy transition and a new challenge for him, from firefighter to chief.”
In reflection, Sherrill also wanted to acknowledge his assistant Tim Umfleet, who was very instrumental in helping him get started with the fire department as chief. He also described the 1998 Freightliner fire truck purchased in January 2017, as a “dream fulfilled.”
Sherrill received several honors throughout the evening. The Missouri House of Representatives was proud to recognize the meritorious accomplishment of Sherrill as an outstanding Missouri public servant who has placed himself in harm’s way on numerous occasions to ensure public safety in both the rural and Licking city fire departments. They also recognized the responsibilities he fulfilled for the day-to-day operations of both, finally expressing deep gratitude for his superb service during the past 24-years.
Fire Chief Aaron Greathouse, on behalf of the fire department, presented Sherrill a plaque stating “With Deepest Appreciation for your Exemplary Attitude and Unwavering Leadership 1999-2023.” Sherrill began his public service with the fire department in September 1999 and retired in May 2023. He also received gifts of a trophy style award, a card and a gift card.
“Sherrill’s leaving a great fire department,” stated Fire Chief Aaron Greathouse. “He and I went through State Certification Fire Fighter 1 and 2 together in 2010, and it’s been an honor knowing and working with him over the years.”
All attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner of catfish with all the fixings, a special celebratory cake and numerous desserts.
Fire department volunteers are needed and are welcome to contact the fire department at Lickingfiredept@gmail.com if interested.
Photos by Christy Porter