Summerfield Fire Chief balances work with firefighting

Published 2:26 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

Fire Chief Kevin Box is closing in on a milestone at the Summerfield Volunteer Fire Department.

Next year, Box will celebrate 25 years volunteering in the Summerfield VFD. He began in 1994 and is The Selma-Times Journal’s First Responder of the week

Box said being a firefighter is about serving the residents.

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“It’s being able to help others and do what we can,” Box said. “A fireman is knowing and being willing to help people in the community.”

Box takes pride working in the Summerfield VFD, especially about its Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating of five.

“The lower your ISO, the better our insurance rates are,” Box said. “I’m proud to lead that. It’s a sense of pride and it took a lot of work. It took us a year to get where we are. All Fire Departments base themselves on the ISO, whether their volunteer or fulltime.”

Summerfield VFD is located in Valley Grande and operates on a $60,000 budget. Valley Grande devoted $25,000 of its 2019 fiscal budget to the Summerfield VFD: $20,000 in donations and $5,000 for Firefighting accessories

The remaining Summerfield VFD consists of Assistant Chief Russell Pardue, Joseph Hobson, Wayne Tilley, Heath McDanal, Jamie McWherther, Lisa Giles, Matt Giles and Gary Farley.

Box said balancing his fulltime job with Summerfield VFD can occasionally be difficult. He’s the Operations Manager at Suburban Propane in Montgomery.

“Sometimes, it’s tough,” Box said. “I work in Montgomery a lot. I’m not there all the time.  Our fire department does a lot of training. We paint and flush the hydrant. I have to make sure they flush the hydrant every week.”

Box is married to Amanda Box. They have two children: Lane Warren and Ashley Warren and a two-month old grandson, Reed Smitherman.