NGU Honors Retiring Tigerville Fire Chief
Tigerville, SC – (February 12, 2019) North Greenville University honored a long-time public servant before its chapel service on Monday, Feb. 11, and wished him well in his retirement.
“The Scripture tells us to give honor to whom honor is due,” said Vice President for Campus Ministries Dr. Steve Crouse. “We want to do that as a part of a celebration today.”
The university honored Chief Russell Ledford of the Tigerville Fire Department, who will retire after 26 years of volunteer service. NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. began the recognition by calling Ledford, as well as other honored guests, to the front of the auditorium to reflect on his service to the community.
Other honored guests present for the ceremony were Representative Mike Burns, SC District 17; Senator Tom Corbin, SC District 5; Representative Garry Smith, District 27; Representative Dwight Loftis (’66), District 19; Greenville County Councilman Joe Dill, District 17; members of the Tigerville Fire Commission; Tigerville Fire Department fireman and first responders; as well as Battalion Chief Gary Gresham, Ledford’s replacement.
As a representative of the General Assembly, Rep. Burns presented Ledford with an SC House Resolution. Senator Corbin, on behalf of the SC Senate, presented him with certified United States and South Carolina flags that were flown over the dome of South Carolina’s statehouse in Columbia.
“Strong communities require great leaders, and Chief Ledford has helped to make the Tigerville community strong through his advocacy for safety and public cooperation. We have been proud partners with our fire and first responders and are grateful for the dedicated service,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. “We wish him only the best as he moves into the next phase of his life, and we welcome Chief-Elect Gresham as he moves into this important role.”
President Fant presented him with an award of appreciation along with university “swag” which included an NGU stocking cap and blanket to use during their Alaskan adventure.
After retirement, Ledford and his wife plan to take their RV on a third cross-country trip to the 11 remaining states they have never visited. Since he is taking early retirement, the Ledfords will still need a revenue stream to support their travels and adventures.
“This first season, we will be traveling to Skagway, Alaska where I have the opportunity to work as a tour guide through the summer taking cruise ship visitors into the Alaska/Yukon wilderness,” Ledford said. “In essence, I am changing my office from a fire truck looking at emergencies for a windshield view of some of the most breathtaking scenery imagined.”
The Ledfords plan to document their adventures on their YouTube channel, youtube.com/findingourhappy.
“We wanted to create a channel with travel info, how-to, reviews, cooking, and really just a way to share our travels and experiences. We also utilize it as an avenue to promote our affiliate marketing partnerships with online retailers,” Ledford said.
Ledford began his career in fire service in 1992 as a volunteer at the Tigerville Fire Department, holding multiple ranks and jobs with 10 of those years as the chief. Ledford plans to remain a part of the community and keep their home that he and his wife built with their own hands as their home base.
When asked about the incoming fire chief, Ledford says “Gary Gresham has worked with me for the last 16 years. He has been an intricate part of the growth and restructuring of Tigerville Fire Department. I am very proud to pass the department off to him as I know it will be in excellent hands.”