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Dennis wants Jemison Fire Department to grow

John Dennis began his career as a volunteer firefighter for the Thorsby Fire Department at age 17. But he knew what he wanted to do at a much younger age.

“When I was in kindergarten visiting the fire station, I knew I wanted to be a fireman,” said Dennis, adding that the television series “Emergency” spurred his ambitions even further.

Dennis, a 24-year veteran with the Hoover Fire Department, was recently hired as Jemison’s part-time fire chief. The city approached him about the position soon after he had begun teaching a volunteer firefighter certification class in Jemison at no charge.

“I had felt the need to begin to give back to my community, and Jemison was the best fit for me to do that,” Dennis explained.

When he learned of the opportunity to serve as the department’s chief, he jumped at the idea.

“It was the type of opportunity I had been looking for for a long time,” he said.

Dennis graduated from Thorsby High School in 1978 and has since completed 30 years of training.

He is also an adjunct instructor with the Alabama State Fire College.

“With his wealth of experience and training, and as a person, he’s going to be an asset to the city and its citizens,” Director of Public Safety Shane Fulmer said.

Both men spoke highly of Bobby Tucker, who will continue to serve as assistant fire chief, and former Rescue Chief Donna Manasco.

“Jemison has had outstanding volunteers and provided outstanding services to the public since the beginning. Our goal is to provide even better service to the public,” Dennis said.

Dennis is married to his wife of nearly 29 years, Janet, and has two daughters, Jessica and Jennifer. He also serves as the minister of music and youth at New Covenant Baptist Church in Clanton.