New Crossville Fire Department Chief Chris South was sworn on Monday in by Crossville Mayor James Mayberry and pinned by former chief Mike Turner.
After 44 years of service with the fire department, Turner will act as deputy chief to Chief South until his official retirement, effective May 28.
Making it official, and even more special, Turner took the badge off his shirt and pinned South with it.
“I want his first badge to be my badge,” Turner said.
After the pinning and a bear-hug, South said, “This man has done more for me than I deserve, and I can never repay that gratitude, Boss.”
In attendance were South’s family– his whole family, including his parents, wife and children, and the fire department.
“We have a large family,” South said.
Turner mentioned that when South was 16, his mother brought him over to Turner and told him he wanted to be fireman.
“He’s the best there is,” Turner said. “He’s the best person to take over the helm.”
Turner will be mentoring South until his retirement, although he said he doesn’t really need a mentor.
Turner said, “I trained him all his life, so if he does good…”
South said, “Chief Turner has, through the help of the council and city managers along the way, changed the face of the fire service as we know it in the city of Crossville. Every one in this room that works for the Crossville Fire Department was hired by this man. We are your legacy, Boss.”