Corbin Fire Chief Gary Price confirmed Tuesday that he will officially retire this Thursday after 33 years with the Corbin Fire Department.
The abrupt departure came, Price said, for personal reasons and because of some health issues. He tendered his resignation in a sealed letter to Corbin City Commissioners, Mayor Willard McBurney and City Manager Bill Ed Cannon Monday afternoon.
“I’ve just enjoyed helping people and serving the citizens of Corbin,” Price said. “This is always what I’ve enjoyed doing. I will probably miss it for a while, but I’ve got a lot of things to do. I plan to enjoy myself.”
Price, 56, hired on with the Corbin Fire Department in 1975. Previously, he had served as a member of the now defunct Corbin Rescue Squad and was a volunteer member of West Knox and Oak Grove fire departments.
“I’ve always liked doing emergency work,” Price said. “But, I think this is a good time to leave it.”
Price was the first, and only person, to hold the rank of Assistant Fire Chief in the department before his promotion to Chief. Barry McDonald currently serves as assistant chief and will oversee the department until commissioners make a firm decision on who will replace Price.
McDonald is a 20-year veteran of the Corbin Fire Department and has also served as chief at West Knox Fire Department, and is operations captain for the Region 11 Hazardous Materials team.
The Corbin City Commission’s longest serving member, retired banker Phil Gregory, praised Price for his long stint with the department and dedication to the city.
“He’s put in his time and deserves this,” Gregory said. “He’s been a good servant to our community as a firefighter. I don’t blame him a bit for retiring. When I hung it up, time meant more to me than money and I’m sure it is the same way with him. I wish him the best. He’s served Corbin well.”
“Gary Price is a first class individual,” said City Commissioner Bruce Farris. “I appreciate the many years of service that he has given to the City of Corbin. We have been very fortunate over the years to have dedicated professionals such as Chief Price in the fire department. I wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Price said he plans to do some fishing and spend time with his three children and four grandchildren.
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