The public got to know new Mt. Juliet Fire Chief Erron Kinney a little better Wednesday as he spoke at the Mt. Juliet Chamber Luncheon.
“It’s an honor to be the first Fire Chief for the City of Mt. Juliet,” said Kinney.
Kinney said it was his lifelong goal to be a Fire Chief in a small town or city, and he couldn’t have asked for a better fit than Mt. Juliet.
Kinney said he wants the Mt. Juliet Fire Department to be seen more than just when you need them. He wants them to be a part of the community. He has many years of experience in towns all over the east coast, and has got to see many different methods of running a fire department.
“I wanted to bring something to Mt. Juliet that was a game changer,” said Kinney.
Kinney said that he hopes that the new fire station on Belinda Parkway, which had its’ ribbon cutting recently, will be fully operational by the first week of October. That is Fire Prevention Week, so he wanted to incorporate that with the opening.
He said it will be staffed with a mixture of paid and volunteer firefighters, and there will be four per shift. That will at least triple the amount of firefighters on duty than is currently in the city.
Kinney opened the floor to questions, and joked about his football past with the Tennessee Titans. He said people could ask about fire protection, or even football if they want.
“Don’t get me too excited, I haven’t hit anyone in a long time,” Kinney joked.
Kinney said they are already working on a second station that will be located somewhere along Lebanon Road. He said they are looking for a public-private partnership, and they have a company that is interested out of Alabama. He said the opening of that station would lower the ISO rating for the city and could lower some insurance rates up to 50 percent for city residents.
He was asked about whether they would fight fires outside of city limits.
“I’ll ask for forgiveness before I ask for permission,” said Kinney.
Kinney said he will help anyone in need, regardless of whether their home or business is inside or outside city limits.