Calera forever honors fallen fire chief

Published 5:42 pm Friday, March 12, 2010

A Calera fire station will forever honor the city’s first full-time fire chief after the station received a new name March 12.

The No. 1 Calera Fire Station off 17th Avenue was renamed the Tommy H. Moon Fire Station in honor of a man who dedicated more than 33 years to the department.

Moon, who died in October 2009, oversaw the department’s transformation from a small volunteer station to the full-time professional department it is today, said current Fire Chief Sean Kendrick.

“We chose to rename the station today because it was Chief Moon’s birthday,” Kendrick said. “He dedicated his entire adult life to this fire department, and took it from a volunteer department to a full-time career department, which is no small feat.

“We are honored to dedicate this station to him,” Kendrick added.

Moon’s family members said they were honored by the dedication, and said Moon was “smiling down” on the city.

“It feels very good. This is really where he lived,” said Moon’s wife, Hilda. “He would be very honored to see this.”

“He is definitely smiling down on us today,” added Debbie Byers, Moon’s niece.

Calera Mayor Jon Graham called the event “bittersweet,” but said the honor was appropriate for a man who helped ensure fire safety in one of Shelby County’s fastest-growing communities.

“Today is a bittersweet event,” Graham said. “But we are very proud we are able to do this for him.”