Saying thanks to Chief Allen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Congratulations to Fire Chief Henry Allen, who recently was honored by the city of Selma with a 35-year service pin.

Allen was Selma’s first African-American firefighter and has been fire chief since 1995.

In a great American success story, Allen started at the bottom and worked his way to the top.

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He received a rousing ovation before a packed City Council chamber when Mayor James Perkins Jr. recognized his accomplishment, wrapped in a “thank you.”

His faith, along with the understanding of the work of a public servant, is what has carried Allen through the years.

“He’s a fine, Christian man,” said Capt. Doug Horton, who has been a firefighter for 16 years. “He’s dedicated. Most people will leave after they get their time in. Chief Allen hadn’t shown any signs of slowing down.”

Perkins said he believes Allen’s “steady pace” has attributed to his longevity.

“He’s been a constant,” Perkins said. “He sort of operates like cruise control on a car. He’s at a constant speed, a constant pace all those years. That’s why he’s lasted so long.”

We congratulate Allen on this achievement and thank him, as well as many others, for their years of public service.