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Billings honored for 40 years

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Collierville town employees and officials traveled down memory lane Monday night while honoring Fire Chief Buddy Billings for 40 years of service.

Billings, who was named chief two years ago, was hired in 1978 as a dispatcher and became a firefighter just a year later.

“This is one of the great employee stories of the town,” said Town Administrator James Lewellen. “He is one of those who has truly done everything.”

Lewellen said that Billings has done everything from pulling weeds at the fire house to saving lives.

Billings was awarded with a 40-year pin and a plaque.

“It seems like yesterday,” Billings told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “It really does. It really has flown by. I’ve got a few more years, I think.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously appointed Billings as the Collierville Fire Chief in May 2016.

He accepted the appointment with remarks about the support he’s received over the years from his wife, family, fellow firefighters and the Board.

“I stand before you a humble man,” said Billings. “I want to thank God first of all for giving me the ability to do what I’ve done for so long. I look forward to working with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in the future, and want to thank you for trusting your fire department to me.”

Billings has spent the majority of his life in the Collierville community. After graduating from Collierville High School in 1977, he pursued his career in the fire service by attending classes from the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy.

He began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with the Collierville Fire Department at the age of 16. After a short stint as a Collierville Police-Fire Dispatcher beginning in July 1978, he transferred to the fire department as a Fire Private in March of 1979. His dedication to fire service elevated him to Firefighter/Driver, then to Fire Lieutenant in 1983, Fire Marshal in 1995 and Chief of Fire Prevention in 2005.

He served as interim fire chief before being appointed chief.

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