Troup County Fire Department enters the new year without a familiar face.
Troup County Fire Chief Jerry Heard retired after nearly 25 years of service with the department.
“I want to thank all the current full time and volunteer firemen of the department throughout my tenure who have helped me out,” Heard said.
“It’s been an honor to work for Troup County and with the surrounding counties as well as the state. I’m going to miss it.”
The Troup County Government Center hosted a reception for Heard’s retirement on Dec. 17, where the department, government officials and family gathered to honor the departing chief.
Commission Chairman Ricky Wolfe honored the chief for his service by presenting him with a clock engraved with his name and thanking him for his service and a certificate of recognition.
“He was always your advocate,” Wolfe said to the group. “Every year he was fighting to get you what you needed for your job. He was very consistent in that year over year. In the 25 years of service you never did anything but bring integrity to the office.”
County Manager Tod Tentler hoped that Heard enjoys his retirement and acknowledged his influence on Troup County.
“Jerry’s had a great influence on Troup County,” Tentler said.
“He always tried to do what’s best for the citizens. Under his leadership, we were able to build the first LEED certified fire station which is the one near Long Cane Road.”
Tentler also credited Heard for having such a positive attitude throughout his years serving as chief.
“His biggest attribute was his determination,” Tentler said.
“His character as a man was unapproachable.I wish him many years of good health and hope he enjoys the time with his family.”
Heard will retire just a month shy of 25 years with the fire department, serving as chief since 2001. Before coming to the fire department, he served 20 years in the military.
County commissioners have voted to allow county staff to begin the process of finding and hiring a replacement chief, although Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff does not think the task to replace Heard will be an easy one.
“He’s been a valuable person we have worked with for a lot of years,” Woodruff said.
“He was a great chief and a great friend. It’s going to be hard to replace him.”
As for Heard, he is relishing the next chapter in his life and what it will bring.
“I’m going to take a moment to reflect and prepare for what’s next in life,” Heard said.