Jerry Holly, division chief, retired on July 30 after 37 years of service to the citizens of southwest Johnson County and beyond.
Holly started his career in fire service in 1984 as a volunteer for Gardner Fire Department, later named Gardner Department of Public Safety. He was promoted to assistant chief in 1988.
In 1994, he started his career as a paid firefighter at South County Fire Department which was later named Fire District #2. During his time at District #2, he continued serving as a volunteer assistant chief for Gardner Public Safety. Holly rose through the ranks at Fire District #2, promoting to lieutenant in 1996, captain in 1998, and assistant chief in 1999.
On June 10, 2010, he returned to serve the residents of Gardner and the surrounding area with Fire District #1. He was appointed as one of the first three officers to ever hold the rank of battalion chief at Fire District #1. He was promoted to division chief of prevention in January 2015 as the intermodal facility in Edgerton started to become a reality.
Holly leaves a legacy behind in his service to the community. One of his last roles was in the development of the intermodal facility. As stated at his retirement celebration by Tim Richards, assistant chief, “Through plan reviews, inspections, and onsite evaluations, he has been instrumental in providing safe buildings and work environments for thousands of workers at the various facilities in Edgerton.”
Dennis Meyers, interim fire chief, stated, “Chief Holly was a true asset to the fire service during his career. His leadership and friendship will be missed by all who had the privilege to work with him.”