Hopkinsville fire chief to retire Aug. 1

Fire Chief Freddie D. Montgomery Jr. will be retiring Aug. 1, after 25 years of service and five years at the helm.

City of Hopkinsville officials will host a public farewell reception in his honor at 5 p.m. July 16 at the Hopkinsville Municipal Center, 715 S. Virginia St.

Montgomery, 46, said in the release, “I will be forever grateful for the city of Hopkinsville and the men and women of HFD. The leaders at the department have risen to extremely high expectations. They know discipline, they have been held accountable and they also are among the most knowledgeable fire officers in the industry. In fact, the security and maturity of the officer core makes this job hard to leave.”

A new fire chief was not named in the release; however, Montgomery emphasized the quality of department leadership.

“In the spirit of succession planning, HFD is in great hands," he said. "I have intentionally tried to build a leadership model that would outlast me and provide quality service for the city into the future.”

Charged with the day-to-day oversight of city fire and county ambulance services, the release said Montgomery has been intimately involved in leading Hopkinsville to its best ever ranking of among the top 2% nationally in fire suppression, thereby reducing insurance coverage premiums for personal and commercial property locally.

He also managed the delivery of 2,900 fire and nearly 10,000 ambulance runs each year; helped eliminate a $450,000 budget deficit in EMS by restructuring the EMS Management and EMS Response Model and implementing cost saving ambulance purchases and design measures; and secured Hopkinsville City Council approval to fund updated air packs, a new ladder truck and training center, among a host of other accomplishments.

In recognition of his leadership and departmental successes, Montgomery was named the 2015 Kentucky League of Cities Employee of the Year and served as second vice president for the Kentucky Fire Chiefs Association.

Mayor Carter Hendricks said in the release, “This is a true bittersweet announcement. We are happy as Chief Montgomery retires and allows himself greater flexibility to pursue whatever life might bring next. But, we know we are going to miss his leadership, teamwork and genuine compassion for our team and citizens. There’s no doubt. Chief Montgomery’s legacy will be felt for generations to come.”

For more information about the reception, call 270-890-0200 or email ndurham@hopkinsvilleky.us.

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