Leesville Fire Department CPT Stacy Dixon hung up his helmet for the final time on Friday.

He has been fighting fires and providing protection to the residents of Leesville for 29 years.

He said that he has been fortunate during his entire career to work with a group of guys that are more like family and not co-workers.

Mayor Rick Allen has known Dixon since they were kids living on Hawthorne Road.

He describes Dixon as a “hometown guy with a lot of common sense and good morals”. Mayor Allen said that when he goes home at the end of the day he does not worry about the safety of the citizens of Leesville.

He is confident the fire crews, under the supervision of Dixon and Leesville Fire Chief Kyle Bush, are well trained and work together as a cohesive team protecting Leesville residents.

When Dixon was younger, like many kids around town back then, he and Mayor Allen, spent a lot of time hanging out at the fire station. While conducting this interview, Allen, Dixon and Bush reminisced about playing pool on a table that was situated in the back corner of the station bay while the older firefighters, including C.C. “Buddy” Tibbitts, sat at table playing cards or dominos.

Dixon knew from a young age that he wanted to be a firefighter. As soon as he graduated from high school he went to work in a mill until he was old enough to join the fire department.

In 1990, shortly after turning 21, Dixon received a call that set him on the path he ended on Friday. He was promoted to Captain in September 2005.

When asked why he is retiring now Dixon said, “it’s time. When you get to the point where you don’t feel the excitement anymore and you cannot advance any further in the career, it’s time to step aside and let someone else take over.” Dixon said that he hopes that he was a good mentor to the firefighters he has worked with.

He is not sure right now what he will do but he said that he will be around. “Maybe I’ll find something to keep me busy but I’m not going anywhere”.

Mayor Allen said that he is extremely honored to be the mayor that signs the retirement paperwork for his lifelong friend.