LaGrange Fire Department Lt. Chris Taylor plans to retire December 25th, 25 years after he began working at the department.
Lt. Taylor is the public information officer for the department and Company Officer at Station 4.
According to Taylor, his career in the fire department starting taking shape his freshman year at La-Grange High School.
“In the summer of 1986, I received a phone call from the fire department inviting me to a meeting concerning their new Fire Explorer program. My name came up on a list of potential participants, and I was excited and shocked,” Taylor said.
“When I went to the first meeting, I was excited to see the fire department up close and many of my friends that I met in school. This really sparked my interest.”
Taylor was a part of the Explorer program until he was 20 years old. He was hired by the department in August 1992 and became an Advisor with the program. Several months later, on December 25th, 1992 he was assigned to a shift.
“It was my very first day and a fire had occurred before my shift – taking the lives of 4 adults. My crew arrived on the scene to relieve other personnel and it was my first emotional and tragic event in my career. But I knew that there would be days like this during my career and I never second guessed my decision in becoming a firefighter.”
Taylor plans to retire December 25th, 2017 – 25 years after that emotional day in remembrance of the lives lost.
He recalls the most trying time of his career eventually became the most rewarding.
“It took me five years to get my associates degree. During this time I was taking care of my sick mom and two households, working three jobs, going to school, and then working through the passing of my grandmother,” he says. ‘Most people would have given up on school, but I kept fighting because my faith in God would not waiver, and I knew that I would make it through these storms,’ replied Taylor.
“Sometimes, our success is affected or hindered by the storms created in the lives of others that we encounter. Find a way to stay focused and push forward. I faced a turning point and had to make a decision to persevere. Once I finished my Associate’s degree, that’s when my career excelled.”
In January 2006, he was promoted to Lieutenant and became the public information officer. Taylor went on to be an adjunct instructor at West Georgia Tech and shortly after, the President of the West Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Taylor was a 2007 graduate of Leadership Troup, co-creator of TCCPIT, or the Troup County Community – Public Information Task Force, and host of the department’s LGTV show Smoke Signals, among others. Taylor also went back to school and received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2010.
After his retirement, Taylor plans to pursue his passion in another field – while he is still young enough to do so, complete the writing of his first book to be published, continue teaching, travelling, public speaking, and improving his health and relationships with his family and friends.
“To me, my legacy isn’t necessarily about what I’ve accomplished throughout my career – but more so the life changing impact I’ve made on the lives of themanypeopleI’vecome to meet around the country. It’s with much gratitude that my accomplishments inspire others to accomplish their goals and dreams. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve over 25 years with the City of La-Grange and build a working relationship with so many people on the local, state and national level.”
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