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Public Safety Metro Employees Eye Surrounding Areas for Jobs -- Mikayla Lewis

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After more than three decades at the Nashville fire department, deputy chief Kim Lawson is calling it a career.

 Lawson is the first woman to be the operational district chief, and assistant chief before taking over as deputy chief. Today,  Lawsons co-workers celebrated her last day at Nashville fire headquarters.

Lawson says it's bittersweet, but she's  starting  a new chapter in her career as Murfreesboros Fire and Rescue assistant chief of Medical Services.

Kim Lawson says, "  They have a great department and I know that I am just going to love it."


Lawson says her love for Nashville is deeply rooted,  coming into the fire department nearly 35 years ago as one of the first women. She faced  unforgettable events like the NHC nursing home fire and 2010 flood. Now she is going to share that experience in her new job,  like many other former metro public safety employees.

Kim Lawson says, "Yes it is the trend for a lot of people in the departments like public safety to actually go to the surrounding areas. It's a great fit."

Joseph Bishop says, "In your years with Metro government, you gain a great amount of wisdom, knowledge and experience."

Joseph Bishop worked for Metro Police for 28 years.  After retiring , he became Columbias police chief, worked for the State Department of Correction. This past year became Vanderbilt Universitys assistant police chief.

Joseph Bishop says, "Often times you got a little more fire in the belly to continue service ."

Lee Bergeron says, " People in emergency servicesyoure still drawn to try and make a difference somewhere."

Columbia fire chief Lee Bergeron served on Nashvilles fire department for more than 30 years. Chief Bergeron agrees with Bishop and Lawson, that Metro's penchant plans are great, but it's not all about the money.

Kim Lawson says, " Been trained well and have a lot of experience so it makes sense to share that instead of losing it with other surrounding areas."


Last year hundreds of Metro employees participated in a retirement buyout worth about $8 million. The majority of those employees came from the fire and police departments.

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