Collierville Battalion Chief Daniel McPeake recently drew a large crowd on a cold and January afternoon to celebrate his 40th anniversary with the town’s fire department.
“Chief Mac,” as he is lovingly called by his fellow firefighters, smiled when told he was a popular guy.
“I don’t just know most of these people,” McPeake said, “I raised a lot of these people.”
McPeake began his career with the Collierville Fire Department as a student at Collierville High School in 1970. He was a paid-on-call firefighter for the next five years until he graduated from the Tennessee State Fire Academy in 1975 when he was hired full-time.
The reception started with formal recognition from the town and ended filled with laughter as memories were shared by crew members who have worked alongside Chief Mac.
One story included McPeake receiving a call from his own mother while handling dispatch calls at the oldest Fire House, No. 1 on Main Street. Despite the personal nature of the call, McPeake stuck to protocol and professionally executed the job.
“The best part of the past 40 years has been working with these guys,” he said. “Many of them are brought to me during the beginning of their career and have become my brothers.”
He also pointed out a bronze trophy given to him by the members of the 2014 B-Shift and said he enjoyed that the best because every team member’s name was listed.
“Daniel exemplifies excellence and greatness every time he comes to work,” said Collierville Fire Chief Jerry Crawford.