Stephens sworn in as fire chief
Published 11:31 am Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Michael “Buford” Stephens was sworn in as Troy’s new fire chief on Tuesday.
Stephens, a 16-year veteran of the department, said he was “very excited and very humbled” by the opportunity.
“I’ve put my heart and soul into this department and that’s what I intend to do for years to come,” he said. “I’m focused on serving and protecting the citizens of Troy.”
Stephens replaces Thomas Outlaw, who retired last week after more than 35 years of service to the department.
“I feel like I’ve raised him,” Outlaw said after the swearing-in ceremony. “He’ll do a good job.”
Outlaw was a sergeant when Stephens first joined the department. “He was my sergeant, and then he was my lieutenant for three years,” Stephens said. “He’s had a big influence on my career.”
Mayor Jason Reeves said he believes Stephens will do “an excellent job” for the community.
“He cares about this community and he cares about the men that he will be serving with,” Reeves said. “He has the ability, the training and the expertise to do the job very well … and I know I’ll be able to rest easy at night knowing the Troy Fire Department is there to help in a time of need.”
Reeves said the abilities and professionalism of Stephens and the department are an asset to the citizens. “No one ever wants to have to call 911, but know there’s a group of trained professionals coming to help in your time of need gives me a great sense of relief.
“I consider providing that safety one of the primary reasons for my job and one of the primary responsibilities of government.”
Stephens said he sees opportunities and growth ahead for the fire department. “We’ve got a third station coming on line soon,” he said. “And these guys are going to have some opportunity for advancement as this department grows.”
And he was ready to get to work Tuesday morning.
“I’m focused on getting settled in,” he said. “I’m going to go back to the office, return some calls and emails, and get to work.”