The Corbin Fire Department said goodbye to one of its longest tenured members as Battalion Chief Larry Jones retired effective Monday.
Jones joined the department in 1990 on a part-time basis and became a full-time member in 1994.
“I hated to retire,” said Jones, who is being forced to step down because of medical issues.
Jones said he will be using his time to complete the long list of “honey do’s” his wife, Sandra, has written up, and to spend more time with his three grandchildren.
“I might find me a little part time job, but not right now,” Jones said. “I’m going to take some time off.”
Jones said he will miss the people he has worked with, but promised that he will be around the station from time to time.
“I told them I would drop in every once in a while and aggravate them,” Jones said.
Jones said he got into firefighting on a volunteer basis with the West Knox Fire Department in 1980.
Jones’ friend, Glenn Baker, who worked with him at IGA, got him started.
“He kept talking about it, so I went up there,” Jones said.
The department got both Larry and Sandra in the deal.
Corbin Fire Chief Barry McDonald, who also spent time with West Knox, said he was a new volunteer with the department and jumped into the truck with Larry and Sandra on a call to a house fire.
“We were going along when Sandra put her foot on Larry’s and mashed down on the gas pedal,” McDonald said.
McDonald said whether it was at West Knox or Corbin, he said Jones could always be counted on to do whatever needed to be done.
“He is just a good ole boy,” McDonald said of Jones.
“It is going to be different because he was there anytime you needed him,” McDonald added.
Among the firefighters at Corbin are several that Jones is old enough to remember when they were born.
Among them is Chad Jackson.
McDonald and Jones agreed that if Jones was ever on time for work, he was late in his world.
“You never beat Larry Jones to work,” Jackson said. “He was always there first and ready to go.”
“Our shifts at Corbin start at 7 a.m.,” McDonald added. “He was always there at 5:30 a.m.”
Jackson said having Jones on a fire scene made one part of the job easier.
“You didn’t need a hydrant wreck if Larry was there,” Jackson said explaining that Jones was easily able to loosen the covers on the hydrants so the hoses could be attached.
Despite his size and bulk, Jackson and McDonald agreed that Jones’ personality defied his appearance.
“He has always been kind of laid back and even humble,” Jackson said.
“He is real quiet and keeps to himself, but he is very friendly,” McDonald added.
Jones said he enjoyed his time being around the station and with the other firefighters and loved the job because he was able to help people.
As to anyone who may want to become a firefighter, Jones said it is something that has to be inside of you.
“You have got to want to do it, or you are not going to do it,” Jones said explaining that no matter the time of day or how you feel, when the tones drop, you have to just jump up and go.