A longtime fire service coordinator for Crawford County was honored at his retirement party on May 25.
Les Jenkins retired from his position as fire service coordinator after 25 years. A retirement party was at the Crawford County Emergency Operations Center in Van Buren.
Jenkins was honored by local officials, firefighters and emergency responders. Crawford County Judge Dennis Gilstrap proclaimed the day as Les Jenkins Day.
Gilstrap noted that before he began his work with rural fire departments, Jenkins had spent 27 years in the military.
“Most people after 27 years in the military, if they were retired, would have moved to the farm,” Gilstrap said. “Les, he dedicated himself to 39 years of community service.”
Since 1978, Jenkins has worked with rural fire departments and was District 6 fire chief. He was asked to take over as the county’s coordinator by the Fire Chief’s Association and was named to the position in 1992.
“He’s one of those people that have a servant’s heart,” Gilstrap said.
Fire service coordinators work with rural fire departments, fire protection districts and city fire departments to complete the legal requirements of Act 833, which regulates funding.
Coordinators also help fire departments to get their fighter certified training.
Gilstrap said Jenkins went “above and beyond” in his work as fire coordinator.
Jenkins always received compliments from the members of the quorum court for his prepared budget, Gilstrap said, and “he makes sure he is perfectly accurate in everything he does.”
“There was a trust between him and the previous county judges, and now me,” Gilstrap said. “I hate to lose him.”
Jenkins is a motorcycle enthusiast and plans to spend part of his retirement traveling, Gilstrap said.