Name: James Kelley
Current Title/Position: Fire Chief
Agency: Derrick City Volunteer Fire Department
Length of time in position: 13 yrs as Fire Chief. 18 years in the fire service holding different positions and certifications
What made you decide to become a first responder?
Some of my friends and family were volunteers. Within a few years of joining, the Department was looking for people that were interested in becoming officers. I took classes and within two years, I was an assistant chief and since then I have been Fire Chief. I enjoy helping out in the community and helping members within the department succeed.
Who is your favorite superhero or super villain and why?
I don’t really have one, but my daughter has all the action figures. She told me I should be Iron Man because he wears a red costume and my favorite color is red.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I enjoy helping the people we serve. We have a small department and I take a lot of pride in how our department functions as well as serving our residents. Second, as Fire Chief, my favorite part I enjoy is guiding, teaching and watching each of the men and women that I lead succeed in their positions.
Tell us about your family and/or pets.
I’m married with 2 children. My wife Kelly and I have been married 18 years. My son, Alex, is 14-years-old and attends Fretz and my daughter, Leah, is 9-years-old and attends School Street.
What is one thing you want the community to know about what you do?
I guess it would be that there is so much more to being a Fire Chief than just responding to calls. The behind-the-scenes responsibilities are abundant. Responsibilities include reporting and record keeping, organizing trainings and fundings, attending meetings, scheduling and keeping everything organized and running smoothly for the department. However, there is a sense of dedication and pride I take in the quality of work we do to make our department successful.