CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Freddie D. Montgomery Jr. was sworn in Thursday as Clarksville’s 17th Fire Chief in a ceremony at Freedom Point attended by his family, friends, firefighting colleagues and City officials.
“I solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution and will obey all of the laws of the United States and of the State of Tennessee,” Montgomery said during the oath administered by Mayor Joe Pitts. “And that I will in all respects support and obey the Charter and all ordinances and resolutions of the City of Clarksville, and that I will demean myself in my official capacity as Fire Chief faithfully, honestly and with due regard to the welfare of the city, to the best of my ability.”
Montgomery, formerly Hopkinsville, Ky., Fire Chief, told the crowd he’s very excited to get to work with Clarksville Fire Rescue.
“We're going to paint this town red,” Montgomery said. “The City of Clarksville is going to know Clarksville Fire Rescue is the standard for fire rescue operations. Thank you Mayor Pitts for your support, you have an excellent group of firefighters in Clarksville and I look forward to being a part of this family. Our time is now. Clarksville Fire Rescue, let's go to work.”
In his remarks, Mayor Pitts said that after a nationwide search, consideration of a large field of candidates, and a rigorous evaluation process, he was convinced that Montgomery is the right person to lead Clarksville’s firefighters and emergency responders into the future.
“I am profoundly grateful and deeply humbled by the heroism and sacrifice of the brave men and women of Clarksville Fire Rescue,” Pitts said. “We’ve had a long line of great chiefs, and we honor the long tenure of Mike Roberts, who retires today, and we thank him for his more than 40 years of service, the last 20 as Fire Chief.”
Pitts said the Clarksville Fire Rescue’s heroism and dedication, and its tradition of excellence, was his inspiration during the search for a new Fire Chief.
“You deserve a great leader,” Pitts said to Fire Rescue staff and firefighters. “And we worked hard to find the best and most qualified person for this job.”
Montgomery, 46, was born and raised in Hopkinsville, Ky. After serving in the U.S. Army’s 9th Infantry Regiment from 1990-93, he joined the Hopkinsville Fire Department in 1994 as a Firefighter-EMT. He steadily rose through the ranks and was named HFD’s first public information officer in 2000, Fire Captain in 2002, and Fire Battalion Chief in 2009. He became his hometown’s Fire Chief in 2014, and has had a steady tenure of achievement and innovation.
As chief, he advanced the Hopkinsville Fire Department into a leader among departments in Kentucky. He earned acclaim for strong decisions about manpower and equipment, and he dramatically improved the financial outlook and performance of the Hopkinsville/Christian County EMS System.
“We have much to be proud of in our City and at Clarksville Fire Rescue,” Mayor Pitts said. “And now, I’m confident that in Freddie Montgomery we have found the best possible person for this opportunity, and I proudly welcome him into our Clarksville leadership family.”
Mayor Joe Pitts addresses the crowd at Freddie D. Montgomery Jr.’s swearing in ceremony as Clarksville’s 17th Fire Chief Thursday at Freedom Point. (Photo by Samantha Stoffregen)
Mayor Joe Pitts issues the oath of office to Freddie D. Montgomery Jr., Clarksville’s 17th Fire Chief, during the swearing in ceremony Thursday at Freedom Point. (Photo by Samantha Stoffregen)