Gainesville Fire Chief Jerome Yarbrough received a surprise recognition at the Gainesville City Council meeting on Oct. 6 for his 35-year career with the department.
After presenting awards to several other firefighters, Yarbrough was wrapping up his comments at Tuesday's meeting when he was interrupted by Bryan Lackey, Gainesville's city manager.
"I'm just going to pop in right here," Lackey said as he approached the podium. "Mayor and Council have one more recognition that wasn't on the chief's list tonight."
Lackey said he has recognized people for 10 years, 20 years and even 25 years of service, but he has never had the chance to recognize someone who has been with an organization for 35 years.
"Chief, thank you for your service and the outstanding job you've done," Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan said. "13,000 calls a year. There's no time for washing or waxing cars like there was in the old days, is there?"
Yarbrough was awarded with a 35-year pin and a gift card.
Yarbrough said he has grown up in Gainesville and it has been an honor and pleasure to be a part of the city.
"Gainesville's been my home, and that's made the 35 years that much easier." Yarbrough said. "Sometimes I wake up in the morning and say, 'They pay me to do this?' It's a job that I love, and I put my heart into it."