Ironaton fire chief's goal is to build a better department
by Shane Dunaway
TALLADEGA COUNTY — Jimbo Simmons is Ironaton Volunteer Fire Department’s new fire chief.

Although he hasn’t publicly been named, Simmons appears to be the selection by the department’s Board of Directors.

Simmons, a service manager for Snead Ag in Oxford, replaces Sammy Galman, who retired March 5 after serving with the department for close to two decades.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of this Fire Department ever since they opened this facility,” Simmons said. “I tried to sign on with the department when it was opened in 1992, but I was told I was too young at the time. A couple years later, they selected me to join.”

An 18-year volunteer with the department as assistant fire chief, Simmons plans to continue bettering the department for the community and its volunteers.

“My goal is to build a better department as far as getting more people from our community involved,” Simmons said. “I want to provide more training opportunities for our firefighters and bring in some weight room equipment, either through donations or by holding a fundraiser, so our volunteers have a place to work out on weekends.”

The department has also applied for a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bring in money to replace the department’s tanker truck.

Galman submitted the application and Simmons remains dedicated to bringing in another new addition to go along with the new Freightliner truck acquired March 5.

“The president of the company who produced our newest truck actually called this morning because he wanted our truck to be part of a fire truck show in Indiana,” Simmons said. “While it was an honor to be invited, we had to decline because the truck has already been outfitted and readied to provide support to our local community. We cannot afford to give up that truck for the amount of time they requested.”

The department provides emergency services to more than 500 homes in its coverage area.

“We’re here to help our own community,” Simmons said. “We volunteer our time and our safety in order to aid those in need. Not just anyone can do what we do — you have to be physically able and willing.”

© 2013