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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “soundoff” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com
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.
Retirement won’t mean lazy days for James Palos.
‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace
It’s the big musical, the one that makes me think of ‘cast of thousands,’ or in our case, dozens at least, and it’s here only for a few short days. ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ is Irving Berlin’s candy box treasure of a play about Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter in love with a showman.
It’s presented by the Warehouse Living Arts Center but because of its size is on stage at the Palace Theatre. Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.
Short named Farmer of the Year
Agriculture businesses like farming and ranching are the backbone of Navarro County. Many farming families go back several generations.
Since at least 1965, the Corsicana Rotary Club (Wednesday club) has recognized and said “thank you” to the unsung heroes of the soil.
New clinic open
A new medical practice in partnership with Navarro Regional Hospital is now offering comprehensive occupational medicine services.
Purdon man sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for gun violations
Erik Willis, 31 of Purdon, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to serve a total of 258 months in federal prison following his conviction at trial in July 2013 on three felony firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Heat Advisory issued for North Texas
• Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat and indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.
Corsicana’s Red Cross provides valuable assistance
Two weeks ago, when firefighters, oil field emergency crews and county crisis teams responded to a potential gas drilling disaster near Mildred there were also volunteers on the scene, serving cold water and Gatorade.
American Red Cross volunteers respond to a variety of situations, including fires, evacuations, tornadoes, and even bad car wrecks.
Texas Legislature debates road funding
The Texas Legislature has convened to debate new funding for roads and bridges by diverting money from the state's Rainy Day Fund.
Tax rolls reflect closures
The industrial closures that were announced over a year ago have finally come home to roost in the form of lower tax appraisals in Corsicana and Navarro County.
Sheriff attends conference
Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner recently attended the Sheriff’s Association of Texas 135th Annual Training Conference at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, July 20-23. Over 1,500 peace officers were in attendance.
Downed line blocks traffic
Traffic on East State Highway 31 was halted Thursday when an 18-wheeler hit a sagging telephone line, brining down the line and compromising two utility poles.
- More News Headlines
- ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace