MT. JULIET – City officials hired the first fire chief and captain Monday to serve Mt. Juliet in the organization of a new fire department.
Mt. Juliet Public Safety Director Andy Garrett told the Mt. Juliet News the first chief would be Erron Kinney, 35, of Franklin, on Monday just prior to a Mt. Juliet City Commission meeting where the announcement was expected to take place.
Garrett said the captain would be veteran Wilson Emergency Management Agency emergency medical technician and firefighter Jamie Luffman, of Mt. Juliet.
Garrett said both men accepted the respective positions when offered Monday, but they remain conditional prior to passing human resources tests, such as drug screenings.
Kinney, who played seven seasons with the Tennessee Titans as a tight end from 2000-06, currently works for the Williamson County Office of Public Safety as a fire and rescue coordinator.
Kinney is originally from Ashland, Va., and played college football at the University of Florida. During his seven seasons in the NFL, all with the Titans, Kinney had 178 receptions for 1,750 yards and 10 touchdowns, according to official NFL records.
Garrett said both Kinney and Luffman have more than 20 years experience in firefighting and public safety.
Last week, city officials narrowed a pool of 45 fire chief applicants down to five and interviewed each of the finalists.
Garrett said at the time multiple attributes were sought in the optimum candidate.
"There were more than just three things [we were looking for], " said Garrett. "One was supervision, two was training certification, three was their history of progress through the ranks and also community service. There were a lot of factors that were taken into consideration for these candidates, so we did not concentrate on just one or two."
The site-work for the new fire station off Belinda Parkway is nearly complete with several snags and more money than expected to prepare the site because of an underwater stream circumventing progress, as well as bad soil and utility lines thwarting progress.