Murfreesboro fire chief announces retirement after 35 years

Cumbey Gaines

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – The chief of the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department announced his plans to retire Wednesday after 35 years of service.

Chief Cumbey Gaines’ retirement will be effective Aug. 13, 2015.

In his tenure, Chief Gaines has been instrumental in developing the technical rescue aspect of the department, including the addition of water, confined space, and rope rescue.

Under Gaines’ leadership, the department added Child Safety Seat Technicians, a Special Events Team, and enhanced the department’s Honor Guard by creating a national award-winning Competition Team.

“Chief Gaines served Murfreesboro with distinction for 35 years,” said City Manager Rob Lyons. “His achievements are many and have led to the expansion of services, such as technical rescue and basic life support as well as the planning stages of new fire stations to meet the needs of a growing city. It is important to also recognize he was a trailblazer as the first African American to serve in numerous leadership positions, including Chief. The city is grateful for his service.”

He started his career as a Murfreesboro firefighter in the mid-1980s and was promoted to Driver in 1986, Inspector in 1988, Captain in 2000, Shift Commander in 2002, and Deputy Chief in 2007.

He officially assumed the chief’s position in 2008.

Gaines was also the first African American Inspector, Shift Commander, Deputy Chief, and Chief at MFRD.

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