Centralia Fireside Guard

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Little Dixie’s Hoover announces retirement

Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 2:23 pm

After 44 years with the Little Dixie Fire Protection District, Chief Ken Hoover announced his impending retirement before an audience of 200 during the district’s annual Christmas awards banquet.

Little Dixie Fire Chief Ken Hoover, left, after receiving a diploma of appreciation from Kevin Zumwalt, director of the University of Missouri Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute.

Little Dixie Fire Chief Ken Hoover, left, after receiving a diploma of appreciation from Kevin Zumwalt, director of the University of Missouri Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute.

Februrary 28, he said, will be his last day as chief.

While standing before his audience of firefighters, friends and family, Hoover dropped hints  throughout the evening as he introduced service-, and firefighter of the year-award winners and other notables.

He regularly cautioned against overwork and reminded his firefighters there was nothing wrong with needing some rest. “There’s nothing wrong with needing to take a break, to take care others, you have to take care of yourself too.”

Hoover led up to the announcement by presenting service awards to the various firefighters gathered. Among them were Steve Gentry and Bill Albus, who both received the rare and coveted bells signifying 40 years of service to the fire district.

Albus said it would be hard to imagine Little Dixie without Hoover’s leadership. “I cannot in my life remember a time when Chief Hoover was not the face, the leader of the Little Dixie Fire District,” Albus, now an arson investigator for the State Fire Marshall’s office said. “He took the district from a small group of guys who fought fires in the country, to a three-station, 50-firefighter strong, modern firefighting organization.”

For the complete article, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.