After a 40-year firefighting career, Franklin Firefighter James Fox will retire this week. He was hired by the Franklin Fire Department in 2003, after serving as a firefighter in the military for 20 years. Originally from Livonia, MI, Fox joined the U.S. Air Force in 1982. After completing basic training, he was asked to choose between firefighting and explosive ordnance disposal as his special duty assignment. He chose firefighting, something he said he’d been intrigued b…y since elementary school when a firefighter visited his class. During his enlistment, Fox served multiple deployments throughout the Middle East, Philippines, and Europe in support of the Global War on Terror. He retired at the rank of Technical Sergeant in 2002 from McChord Air Force Base, WA, then moved to Middle Tennessee to be near family who had relocated here. He joined the Franklin Fire Department the following year. Fox’s first assignment with FFD was Station 3 in Cool Springs. Fire Chief Glenn Johnson, who was a lieutenant at that time, was his first officer. Fox’s final assignment has been working at Station 7 in the Berry Farms area, where he has a unique role. He responds citywide in either the air truck or brush truck, to structure fires, brush fires, and cardiac arrests, to assist with calls that require significant resources. Memorable calls for Fox include one that occurred on his way to work in November 2011. At around 4:30 AM, Fox drove past a pickup truck on its side in a creek in rural Williamson County. He turned around, then got out with his flashlight to investigate. He didn’t find any occupants inside the vehicle but kept searching. He eventually located two elderly gentlemen who had sustained minor injuries but weren’t able to call or walk to get help. Fox helped them to safety. He also recalled the incident that led to the creation of Station 7. On August 15, 2014, a fatal I-65 tanker collision and fire destroyed the Goose Creek Bypass-Peytonsville Rd. bridge. Due to the lost connection, that very day, temporary Station 7 was established at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center to provide emergency services in a timely manner to southeast Franklin. Fox remembered setting up living quarters in the green room of the Ag Expo Center and remaining there for seven months until the temporary station moved to a mobile home on the property. Permanent Station 7 opened in 2021. Other highlights include calls and campaigns for which he earned awards. He received a Meritorious Service Award for fighting side-by-side house fires during the May 2010 flood, a Phoenix Award in 2018 for saving the life a patient in cardiac arrest, and a Covid-19 campaign ribbon. Fox especially enjoyed working with Lt. Dan Doss, Lt. Roddie Petty, and Engineer Alan Fagan over the years. Fox and Fagan have been stationed together and roommates for half of his FFD career. They have both enjoyed cooking for their crew and sharing recipes. One of their favorite recipes is called, “Harry Reid chicken,” or “Jerry Reid chicken,” depending on who you ask. Fox also has fond memories of a visit from country music singer/songwriter Lee Brice last year, who filmed a Tunnel to Towers video at Station 7. “Firefighter Fox has served the City of Franklin well for the past years 20 years,” said Franklin Fire Chief Glenn Johnson. “Before that he served our country well for 20 years. I was fortunate to be his first officer and our department was fortunate to gain a firefighter with his level of experience and expertise. We are grateful for his many contributions throughout the years that helped our team achieve best-possible outcomes on countless emergency scenes. We thank him for his service and congratulate and wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement.” Fox and his wife Jane live in Chapel Hill. They have five children and one grandchild. Upon his retirement they are looking forward to traveling and antiquing. “I enjoyed my time here,” said Fox, adding, “I thought I’d never see this day.”