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The Carthage Press
  • Nixon to retire after 33 years with CFD

  • Carthage firefighters will honor Fire Marshall Tom Nixon with a reception from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. on Friday at the Carthage Fire Station.
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  • Carthage firefighters will honor Fire Marshall Tom Nixon with a reception from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. on Friday at the Carthage Fire Station.
    Nixon, a 33-year veteran of the fire department, has served as a deputy chief, then Carthage Fire Marshal since 2010.
    He was a firefighter and fire captain before that and spent the first 12 or 13 years of his career on the Carthage Fire Department as “the new guy.”
    “Nobody quit, nobody retired, so I was a firefighter for 13 or 14 years before we could advance at all,” Nixon recalled in an interview this week. “That was how it was with a lot of people who worked for the Carthage Fire Department, no one left so we all got a lot of experience fighting fires and a lot of experience driving these trucks. You were in the trenches for an awful lot of years.”
    Nixon is one of the last Carthage firefighters to have worked for the department when it was located in the building that now houses the Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum on Grant Street north of the Square.
    “I started at the old fire station for about five weeks,” Nixon said. “Our crew ran the last run out of the old station and we ran the first run out of the new station. I was on the old B-crew. I was only there for a short while, but it was pretty run down when I was there. I got to slide the pole and run the old fire trucks out of there. You went the wrong way on the Square when you went out south. You went down Grant Street and went backwards on Grant Street going south.”
    Carthage Fire Chief Chris Thompson, the third fire chief Nixon has worked under in his career, said Fire Capt Kendall Terry will be promoted to take Nixon's position.
    Nixon was hired by Retired Fire Chief Don Simmons and was a firefighter and a captain under Retired Fire Chief John Cooper.
    “I feel pretty fortunate, I truly believe the Carthage Fire Department is the best fire department in the four-state area,” Nixon said. “I've been around every fire department in the four-state area and we've always been a fire department that's been respected by other departments. We respect other departments, we work well with other departments and we do our job well.”

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