Fire Marshal Vernon Murphree gave his final goodbye this week to the Greenville Fire Department after 25 years of service.
Murphree has been long time member of the fire department since graduating the academy in 1994 alongside Chief Ruben Brown.
Chief Brown said Fire Marshal Murphree was not only dedicated but was driven to get the task done as a firefighter.
“If anyone of us was ever in need, he went out his way to get the job done with no problems,” Brown said Friday during a goodbye party at Rival’s Steakhouse. “Regardless of how long the task took, Murphree made sure he never left without getting the job done.”
Throughout the years of working at the fire department, Murphree has gone through the many ranks as a firefighter: rookie firefighter, 3rd class firefighter, 2nd class firefighter, 1st class firefighter, assistant fire marshal and up until now, fire marshal.
Chief Brown reflected back on the memories the two shared together in the department.
“He assisted me in getting my certification as an instructor in the most funniest of ways,” Brown stated, referring to a time when he repeatedly tried to record a five-minute video for certification. Although there were many shared laughs, Brown said Murphree made sure he completed the video.
After retirement, Chief Murphree said he plans on working as a property manager at a few local rental properties.
One thing Chief Murphree said he took away from being in the department was the service to the community, helping and guiding citizens out of dangerous situations and growing an everlasting bond with his family in the fire department.
Chief Brown said he wishes him all the best.
“For me, Vernon Chief Murphree has always been more than just a coworker. He’s a family member. He will be transferring from the fire department but he will always be my friend. He’s a brother, someone that I love. And, it’s just still so very easy to say I care about him and I love him because of again, 25 years as a family, and again he’ll truly be missed.”
Chief Murphree left a few words of advice for the new fire marshal, a role that has not been replaced as of yet.
“Citizens should be placed above yourself,” Murphree said. “Go above and beyond the line of duty and support your fellow firefighters at the fire scene.”