Longview Assistant Fire Chief Southwell retires

Longview Assistant Fire Chief Southwell retires

POSTED: Monday, December 13, 2010 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Monday, December 13, 2010 - 5:40pm

From: City of Longview

Longview, TX --- Assistant Fire Chief Kenny Southwell is retiring after twenty years of service with the Longview Fire Department and twenty-five total years as a firefighter. A retirement reception will be held from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 20, at the Longview Fire Department Training Center, 411 American Legion Blvd.

During his time with the Longview Fire Department, Southwell served many roles including firefighter, paramedic, fire driver, paramedic instructor, interim chief, and more. Most notably, Southwell served as Emergency Management Coordinator and played an extremely vital role in the development and success of the City’s Emergency Operation Center, now known as the East Texas Regional Command. Southwell’s leadership provided advancement in emergency management and impacted the role Longview plays at both the regional and state level.

Safety has also been a hallmark of Southwell’s career according to Longview Fire Chief J.P. Steelman, “Chief Southwell has always made it a personal goal to provide our employees with the safest and most effective personal protective equipment. Safety of the employees has been a passion of his throughout his career. Having hired on with Chief Southwell, he has been a friend and a mentor to me personally. He is someone who has helped me grow and successfully pursue higher levels of responsibility within our department. I have the utmost respect for him, and I wish his family the best.”

Looking back on his career, Chief Southwell simply states that “I just hope I have made a difference. On a personal level, I hope that those that have crossed my path will remember me as someone with a love of my God, my family, my church, my friends, teaching the Bible, and fishing, fishing, fishing.”

Southwell’s last day on the job is Friday, December 17, with an official retirement date of Friday, January 7, 2011.

About Chief Southwell:

1985: Began in fire service as volunteer firefighter for City of Jacksonville

1986 - 1990: Entered paid fire service as Firefighter/EMT-basic for City of Jacksonville. Earned EMT-Intermediate, EMT-Paramedic, EMS-Coordinator, Instructor, and Examiner certifications, as well as technician-level Haz-Mat responder.

1990: Joined Longview Fire Department in November, serving as Firefighter Paramedic at Station 2.

1994-2000: Coordinated department’s internal Paramedic Program

1996: Promoted to Fire Driver and moved to Station 3

1998: Promoted to Lieutenant at Station 4

1998: Moved to Administration as EMS Coordinator

2001: Promoted to Assistant Fire Chief

2007: Served as Interim Fire Chief from April – October.

2007-2010: Served as Emergency Management Coordinator for the Longview Gregg County Emergency Operation Center / East Texas Regional Command.

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