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Assistant Hope Fire Chief Steve Tarpley Retires

By Staff, 06/29/20 3:12 PM

Assistant Hope Fire Chief Steve Tarpley was honored with a reception at the Hub Monday marking his retirement.  Tarpley went to work for the fire department in 1986.  “The next week after I left Klipsch I came up and Robert Rice told me they were hiring at the fire department…I went in and interviewed with Joe Don and Joe Done hired me five days after I left Klipsch”.

Tarpley was asked about his most memorable fire.  “When (Tyson) was still Hudson Foods, Me and Mitch (Downs) responded to a call there, it’s when the box room caught on fire.  The whole plant was on fire…one of the fire departments consisting of Mennonites showed up to help us.  We had a wind blowing smoke and ammonia in our face.  I just asked the Lord to change the wind…and it changed!  Me and Howard (Tippett) ended up going to the hospital for ammonia inhalation.  Everything worked out, they got it put out…that’s probably the biggest fire I’ve been on”.

When asked what he will miss about the fire department, Tarpley said “the personnel”.  He continued, “I’ve been working 34 years every third day with a big group of people.  I’ve been working with this group now for nearly ten years and they mean a lot to me.  It’s gonna be hard every third day not to get in the truck and drive up there.  And then, working for the city…they’ve been very kind to me, very good to me all these years”.

Tarpley says he plans to babysit and hunt and fish.  He said he hopes he enjoys his retirement as much as retired Chief Bo Watkins.  Tarpley also operates a gun shop and will continue to do so.

Our best wishes go to Hope Assistant Fire Chief Steve Tarpley on his retirement!