Two life-changing events led to Jeremy Reeves becoming Munford’s fire chief.
The first came when Reeves was 15 and he was visiting his grandparents in rural Kentucky. His grandmother died from an aneurism after it took a while for first responders to get to her house.
“I don’t know if you’d call it foreshadowing, but I knew I wanted to help people because I thought maybe she could have lived,” said Reeves, who began taking EMT classes four years later.
When he was 19 a brush fire broke out behind his South Tipton County home.
“I grabbed some towels because I didn’t know what to do,” Reeves said. “I probably made my mom mad because I used some of her good towels. I went out there and helped them put the fire out.”
While he was ruining his mom’s towels Munford Fire Chief Jay Bonson asked him if he wanted to become a firefighter.
“I was like, ‘Sure, why not?'”
He went to his first firefighter training class that very night and became a volunteer. He was hired full-time in 2008, became a lieutenant in 2010 and was named acting chief last July when Chief Alan Barkelew was dealing with some health issues.
After Barkelew retired Reeves was named chief at Munford’s board meeting on Nov. 22.
Reeves, 35, becomes chief at a time when Munford is going through unprecedented growth. Approximately 1,400 houses have recently been built or are under construction right now. He believes more firefighters will be hired over the next few years and it’s likely an additional fire station could be added within 10 years or so.
“We’re fixing to boom like Atoka did a few years ago,” Reeves said. “Honestly, changes are going to be coming, but nothing crazy, nothing too big right now. I have an awesome, awesome group of guys and they’re really good at their jobs. I know that sounds cliche, but they’re really are good at their jobs. I’m not going to be a micromanager. They’re the ones that run the day-to-day and I trust them completely to do that.”
Reeves no longer uses towels to put out fires. Instead, he plans on helping the department evolve as Munford grows.
“Chief Barkelew was a good a chief and I learned a lot,” Reeves said. “I’m ready to lead us to a bigger and better future.”