‘Great man, great heart, great friend.’

Chief Netherton retires from Jones Chapel Fire Department

Photo courtesy of the Jones Chapel Fire Department Facebook page

JONES CHAPEL, Ala. – The Jones Chapel Fire Department (JCFD) announced the retirement of Chief Micah Netherton after 30 years of service to the community Tuesday, Jan. 4. The Tribune reached out to the JCFD after the announcement so the members could share their stories of Netherton’s impact on them and the department.

“Micah has served this community for 30 years and served as the chief of the fire department for the last two years. He has been instrumental in the progress we have made during that time,” said Clint Thrasher, who was the assistant chief under Netherton and has since been elected to take his place as chief. 

Brad Atkins, the new assistant chief under Thrasher, stated, “He has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps as he was one of the founding members of the department back in the late 1970’s. Chief Netherton has been a great asset to the department over the years as a firefighter and in the last couple years as a leader. He has been very instrumental in getting equipment on grants to further provide the quality of service that the community needs.”

Some of the progress made under Netherton’s leadership includes updates to many pieces of critical equipment, including PPE like turnout packs and self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and communication equipment such as new radios and tablets in the fire trucks with important information like hydrant locations. During his time, the department also received $225,000 worth of grants, including the largest grant the department has ever received in the amount of $175,000 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant in 2021.

Netherton was sent off with many well-wishes from the members of the fire department. Thrasher commented, “He has been a mentor to me for many years and I appreciate his leadership,” while Atkins stated, “We would like to congratulate Chief Netherton on his retirement from the Jones Chapel Fire Department for over 30 years of service. We hope that he will have time now to enjoy his grandson and we wish him the best.” Department member Morris Williams said, “Micah Netherton has served this community and county for 30 years as a volunteer fireman and chief. He had set example for all of us to follow. Great man, great heart, great friend to me.” 

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Heather Mann