Jackson fire marshal, assistant fire chief retires

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Les Crump made a quiet exit from his job as Jackson's assistant fire chief and city fire marshal on Friday. Crump, 68, became a firefighter 47 years ago, with a job in Chaffee, Mo. Two years later, he joined Scott City's department, moving up the ranks until he was the fire chief. In 1999, he accepted the Jackson job. Crump became a firefighter because he loves to serve, he said. He is a member of the Cape Girardeau County Firefighter Association, and served on the Cape Girardeau County 911 committee. He's done some teaching at the state's Fire Rescue Training Institute at the University of Missouri Columbia. "In the short time I've worked with him I learned quite a few lessons that will help me out in my career," said Nick Teichman, who started his first firefighting job 18 months ago at the Jackson department. "The small stuff matters. The big stuff's important, but the small stuff matters — picking trash up out of the parking lot, seeing a small task that needs to be done and doing it without being told." Teichman said Crump is a humble man who didn't seek recognition. "He did his job and enjoyed it." On Friday, former co-workers from as far away as Paducah, Ky., arrived at the Jackson firehouse to celebrate Crump's career. Cape Girardeau's fire department gave Crump an autographed antique fire helmet. The Cape Girardeau County Commission sent a plaque. Mayor Barbara Lohr and fire chief Jason Mouser presented Crump with a plaque. More than 70 people attended the event, including Crump's family and firefighters from the Fruitland, East County, Delta, and Millersville fire protection districts as well as Scott City. Former Jackson firefighter Rob Grief, who now works for the Paducah Fire Department, also attended the ceremony. Crump said he decided to retire after a minor medical crisis last summer. "It brought the point home that I'm not infallible," he said. Though he may continue to teach, Crump said he has small farm in Bollinger County with a lake stocked with fish and looks forward to spending time there. pmcnichol@semissourian.com 335-6611, extension 127 Have a comment? Log on to semissourian.com/today

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