North Shelby Fire District renames station, honors former chief

When the North Shelby Fire District went into service in 1978, Winston Boutwell was its fire chief. He tirelessly served the fire district for the next 17 years, retiring in 1995.

Thursday, the fire district honored Boutwell for his years of service, renaming the North Shelby Fire Station No. 1 the Winston M. Boutwell Station.

More than 40 friends, family members, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies gathered to pay tribute to Boutwell.

During the ceremony, North Shelby Fire District board member Sally Cox said Boutwell played a major part in making North Shelby a great place to live. Because of his dedication, the fire district improved enough that insurance costs dropped considerably, helping to bring schools and homes to the area.

“It’s because of this man and his leadership, his integrity and his vision for this area,” Cox said. “Thank you for your guidance. Thank you for the things you have done.

Boutwell said he was honored to be recognized.

“I really appreciate it, especially with all the people showing up,” Boutwell said. “It’s nice to be recognized for your service. I worked around the clock 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

North Shelby Fire Chief Michael O’Connor, who presented Boutwell with a proclamation, said he was pleased to be a part of the ceremony.

“I feel privileged to be a part of this. I feel privileged to do the job I do. This is a wonderful event because it brings people together,” he said. “Most of the stuff you see on the news and in newspapers these days is negative. This is positive. We’re honoring a man for his life’s work.”