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Serving the community: Clay Fire Chief Dan Ford

The Star-Review sits down with long-time firefighter

Ever since he moved to the town of Clay, Dan Ford has been serving the Clay Volunteer Fire Department. That was 32 years ago, and Ford is now serving as department chief for the second time.

Ford was born and raised in Syracuse while he spent much of his childhood in Lyncourt. He joined the fire department because of a strong interest he had in all areas of firefighting.

"When I moved to Clay, the town was growing," Ford said of the place he admires for constantly progressing.

Ford was elected chief in 2008 and also held the position between 1989 and 1994 for his first term. When the last fire chief was ready to step down, Ford was the department's deputy. He said the crew "took a look around" and wanted him to put his fire hat back in the ring.

Since the town's 40-plus firefighters are volunteers, the crew as well as Ford hold other jobs on top of their service to the department. Ford is a consultant for Tyler Fire Equipment in Lakeland. The fire chief has worked in the fire truck business for more than 10 years.

Ford said his duties as fire chief and his job in the fire equipment industry "mesh well together." Ford said he likes the "plan of direction the department has" because it shows "where the department has been and where it will be in the future."

"This department is pretty progressive, we're changing and growing," Ford said.

With a "small crew" of 40, Ford said every member does "a great job of responding to calls."

"If they're free, they're there," he said. "For the number of people we have, we work through everything."

The crew is comprised of new members and others who have been around as long as the fire chief.

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