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Oxford Fire Chief Cary Sallis retiring

After 26 years of being a firefighter, Oxford Fire Chief Cary Sallis has decided to hang up his helmet and turnout coat and spend more time with his family.

Sallis has submitted his retirement request to be effective Sept. 14; however, it still has to be approved by the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday during their regular meeting.

In the meantime, Sallis is using what’s left of his vacation time and isn’t expected to return to work before his official retirement date.

Sallis, 49, said after realizing he was eligible for retirement, he decided it was time to move on.

“I want to spend some time doing things with my kids,” he said. “And my wife has a long list of things for me to do.”

Sallis and his family live on a 140-acre farm in the county so he has plenty to keep him busy, he said.

“I’m going to just relax for awhile, work on the farm and house and then see what doors open for me,” Sallis said.

Also a paramedic

Sallis is also a certified paramedic and worked for Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi as a paramedic for 12 years on his days off from the Oxford Fire Department.

“I’ve kept up my license to help on wreck calls over the years,” he said.

Sallis joined the Oxford Fire Department in 1990 as a new firefighter and worked his way up through the ranks before being named chief in 2012.

“I’ll miss the guys,” he said Thursday. “That’s what you miss the most, the people you work with. Some, I’ve grown up with. I’ll miss getting to help people. A fireman is always there when someone needs something, not just to fight fires.”

Once the aldermen approve his retirement, the city will begin the search for a new fire chief. Human Resource Director Braxton Tullos said he expects the search will be open to the public, as well as to current administration in the fire department.