Sparks marks 17 years as Oxford Fire Chief

Sparks marks 17 years as Oxford Fire Chief

In 1992, firefighter Gary Sparks was one of only two paid firefighters in the city of Oxford and was described by a newspaper reporter as “the Lone Ranger of fire safety.”

Thirty-two years, four new fire stations, a new training center, and twenty times the number of paid firefighters later, Sparks now bears the title of “Chief.”

Sparks marked 17 years in that role on Sunday, March 3, and continues his lifelong passion of being part of the fire service. That landmark of service makes him the second-longest serving fire chief in the department’s 140-year history.

The chief told his social media followers on the occasion he “was humbled and honored to serve in this position then, and I’m humbled and honored to continue to serve.”

Sparks’ father, brother, and nephew all served as volunteers, and his future may have been foretold when he was elected to the position of fire chief as part of the annual Senior Day at Oxford High School.

“I can never repay what the fire service has done for me,” Sparks said last year on the occasion of his 40th year in the fire service. “I can never repay it for what it has done for me personally. I just hope I’ve done at least a little bit.”

You have done a lot, Chief Sparks, and a grateful city thanks you
for your service.