On the retirement of Deputy Fire Chief Jim Smith, PFD

By Bobby Halton
Fire Engineering Editor in Chief

I would like to say happy retirement to my good friend Deputy Fire Chief Jim Smith, Philadelphia (PA) Fire Department (PFD), an icon of the fire service. Jim retired Wednesday, June 27, after 41 years of service.

Jim has been a great friend to me. For the last twenty years, we shared many evenings walking through the night at the National Fire Academy (NFA), solving the fire service’s woes. Jim Smith is a gentleman, a firefighter’s firefighter, and a great guy.

Jim always is exceptionally proud of Philadelphia, PFD, and his firefighters. He always returns your calls, tries to find the answer with you, and has your back. Jim accomplished many things for the city of Philadelphia and the American Fire Service.

On behalf of all your friends from Fire Engineering, the NFA, and your brothers and sisters across the country: Job well done and good luck in the future. Jim held his retirement party with 300 of his closest friend on Wednesday night, and, in true fire service tradition, a good time was had by all.

The highest civil service rank Jim attained was Deputy Fire Chief. He served as Director of Training and as a field commander. He is a certified incident safety officer, an instructor at the NFA and the Philadelphia Fire Academy, and he is the author of the textbook Strategic and Tactical Considerations.

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