Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

May 8, 2013

Fire marshal retires from Corsicana Fire Department

Corsicana — Retirement won’t mean lazy days for James Palos.

Palos, 48, fire marshal for the City of Corsicana for nearly 24 years, is retiring Friday. He’ll take a week off to spend some time with family, and then he starts his new career in pipeline construction safety.

“You can always tell when it’s time to move on,” Palos said. “I’m young enough I can still start a new career.”

Palos started with the Corsicana Fire Department in December of 1989, and his first job was as fire marshal. He hasn’t changed departments or his job in that time.

He admits he thought about moving away a few times, but his family is here, so why move, he asked.

The fire marshal’s job is part inspector, part investigator and part community outreach. When there’s a suspicious fire, it has been Palos’ job to find out if it was arson, and if so, who and what caused it.

“With this job, you’ve got the fire end of it, and the police end of it,” he said. “Digging through fires and trying to find out what caused them.”

The aspect he won’t miss are the late-night phone calls that alert him to a fire he’ll need to investigate. In the more than two decades he’s been with the service, he’s responded to train derailments, house fires, downtown fires, brush fires and more.

His first fire in December of 1989 was a house fire. The owner was a woman with a slew of cats, he recalled.

“It was cold that December, cold and freezing, and I thought ‘what am I doing?’” Palos said. “I’ve been here ever since.”

Among the many changes he’s seen in the department, possibly the biggest impact was the addition of the ambulance service. In the early ‘90s, the fire department made about 125 runs or responses to emergencies each year, or 20 to 30 per month.

Now, the addition of the ambulances means the responders makes thousands of runs a year.

In his nearly 24 years, Palos has seen 76 fire employees leave the department. And he admitted, it’s the people he’s worked with that made the job so enjoyable, and it’s the people he’ll miss the most.

“Some of these guys I’m going to miss, and for awhile when I hear a siren I’m going to be looking,” he said, adding that he’s looking forward to something new. “It’s going to be fun.”

—————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com



Go to:

A retirement party for Fire Marshal James Palos will be at 2 p.m. Friday in the council chambers of the Government Center, 200 N. 12th St.

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • Sheriff seeks salary shuffle

    Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner went to the County Commissioner’s budget workshop Thursday to ask for a change of how his officers are compensated, or, alternately, an 8 percent across-the-board raise.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25-14 CAC boat.jpg Floating a big fundraiser idea

    The big night is fast approaching for the 10 Grand Country Jam, an Aug. 2 fundraiser for the Child Advocates of Navarro County. What will make it a big night is the grand prize, a $31,000 pontoon boat.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candelario Garcia Jr. (main) Honoring a hero

    Since March of this year, the family of Candelario Garcia Jr. has been so proud of him, they could burst.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • County Budget Commissioners start budget process

    The Navarro County Commissioner’s Court held its first budget workshop Wednesday, the first of a dozen or more over the next month or so.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos