City honors retired firefighters for their community service | News

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Two recently retired firefighters received American flags that had flown over City Hall, a tradition of current administrative practice for employees who have worked for the city for more than 25 years.

Cpt. Paul Thompson III retired after serving 32 years, and Engineer Tracy Kilgore retired after serving 26 years with the Marion Fire Department, with 37 years total with two other departments.

“The sheer amount of experience, dedication and resilience of these two gentlemen will be almost irreplaceable,” said board chairman and former firefighter Brian Cowgill.

Together, Marion Mayor and Fire Chief Paul David invited Thompson’s father, a former councilman and retired firefighter, and Thompson’s son, a firefighter in training, to stand with Thompson when he received the flag.

“If I ever met anyone who was supposed to be a firefighter…it was Paul Thompson,” Mayor Jess Alumbaugh said.

David acknowledged Thompson’s experience in training across the country and his consistent training of firefighters in the department. David also thanked Thompson’s wife, Janet, for her support throughout his career.

“She deserves a formal introduction for putting up with those 24-hour shifts,” David said. “We are brought up a lot by our women.”

Thompson shared that his father inspired him to become a firefighter and he hopes his son will have as rewarding a career as him.

“It was the best decision I’ve made besides marrying my wife and having the family that I have,” Thompson said. “It was certainly a rewarding occupation and certainly no regrets. It was a dream come true for me. »

David recognized Kilgore as a humble man.

“Tracy is a great example of the people we love to see at the Marion Fire Department,” David said. “I also hold you in high esteem and thank you for your service.”

Cowgill said he and Kilgore were hired into the team on the same day, and became very close friends and worked as partners.

“We knew every time we went to the door, we were kicking down a door, I was saying ‘I’m going right,’ and he was saying, ‘I’m going left,'” Cowgill said. “Tracy, you are like a brother to me.”

Kilgore’s wife, Jill, was also recognized.

“He’s all mine now,” Jill said. “People ask me if I’m going to get tired of him – absolutely not.”

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