CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Freddie D. Montgomery Jr., the new leader of Clarksville Fire Rescue, was bestowed a high honor by the Hopkinsville Fire Department, where he had served for 25 years before retiring as Fire Chief and taking his new position in Clarksville.
HFD announced Saturday at its annual gala and awards ceremony that the department had created the Montgomery Award, which will be given to HFD firefighters who serve with high distinction . A bronze helmet statue will be created bearing Montgomery’s badge number, and the name of each winner will be inscribed on the statue, which will be displayed at the department’s new administrative headquarters.
“I thought I was simply going to the annual retirement ceremony, and then they announced this award, so yes I was surprised and extremely honored,” Chief Montgomery said Monday. “As I understand it, this will be kind of a ‘110 percent award’ and the most prestigious award the department will bestow.”
The plaque presented to Montgomery by Hopkinsville Fire Chief Steve Futrell reads: “Montgomery Award. Dedicated to Fire Chief (Ret.) Freddie D. Montgomery Jr. For Distinguished service over the entirety of your career to the Hopkinsville Fire Department and the Citizens of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Your continuous, unwavering dedication to the service will always be remembered.”
For good measure, the plaque bears the “S” logo associated with the Superman character.
Chief Futrell said Monday the City of Hopkinsville and the Fire Department wanted to honor the extraordinary service Montgomery had provided to the community during his career. In the future, the Montgomery Award will be given when earned to a fire official who has been with the department at least 15 years and served with high distinction.
“Freddie is one of those people who goes above and beyond, and gives his best every day, every shift, and we wanted that spirit and example to live on in our department,” Futrell said. “Everyone was heartbroken when he left, and we miss him. But we’re happy for him and for Clarksville.”
Montgomery, 46, was born and raised in Hopkinsville. After serving in the U.S. Army, he joined the Hopkinsville Fire Department in 1994 as a Firefighter-EMT. He rose through the ranks and was named Fire Captain in 2002 and Fire Battalion Chief in 2009. He became Fire Chief in 2014, and had a steady tenure of achievement and innovation. He retired in June to accept appointment as Chief of Clarksville Fire Rescue, where he took office on Aug. 1.
“I was honored, and I consider this was my last farewell to Hopkinsville,” Montgomery said in note to Mayor Joe Pitts. “Now it’s time for Clarksville Fire Rescue to take off.”
Clarksville Fire Rescue Chief Freddie Montgomery, third from left, shows off his holiday party sleeves -- one for Kentucky and one for Tennessee -- along with other honorees Saturday at the Hopkinsville Fire Department’s annual award ceremony. HFD announced the Montgomery Award in his honor during the event.
Clarksville Fire Chief Freddie D. Montgomery and his wife, Priscilla.