It’s time to celebrate our history! One of my goals has been to honor the people in our history who’ve contributed exemplary efforts in making Southaven a great place to live. When City Hall was renovated in 2020, we incorporated a new design for a tribute hall that will be further adjoined to a new archive library near the entrance of the building. This is a great, high-profile location to honor our people and our history.
There could not have been an easier decision by our Board of Aldermen and me than to make the very first honoree, Chief Vernon McCammon. Chief McCammon joined the Southaven Fire Department as a volunteer in October, 1968, twelve years before our city’s incorporation. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1971, then Chief in 1974. While serving as Fire Chief in the mid-1970s, he also joined the inaugural team who created the first-ever EMS service in Desoto County. When Southaven became a city in April, 1980, he was the obvious choice and became the first, official Fire Chief in the City of Southaven. He served the City as Fire Chief during monumental growth years, meeting the public safety needs of our citizens from the early days of one fire station and red, land-line fire phones, to pagers, then to the most modern technology and four fire stations when he retired in October, 2006. During this time, he hired and mentored hundreds of men and women who’ve followed his outstanding model of service.
Chief McCammon has been interwoven into the fibers of Southaven since he moved here with his wife in the 1960s, raising his family here, helping build facilities, and extending a helping hand to whomever, whenever there has been a need.
Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with Chief and asked him what he thought the key was to his success as a leader. His response was, “I’m a people person”. Indeed you are, Sir! Thank you for your service and congratulations!