It was a time of celebration for the Bennettsville Fire Department on March 30 as a Fire Chief Badge Pinning Celebration was held.
James Jackson III was officially installed as the new fire chief and started work as chief on Monday.
After Jackson had the fire chief oath of office administered by Mayor Heath Harpe and his badge pinned by his wife Sharetta, he spoke to those gathered at the ceremony.
He thanked God and said if it wasn't for him, he wouldn't be here right now.
Jackson thanked his wife and children along with family members who drove three hours to attend the event.
He showed appreciation for the firemen of the department for attending.
"It feels good when you've got support from your staff and members of the fire department," Jackson said. "It makes me feel good as we move forward."
He also thanked the mayor, council, Police Department, ministers, former colleagues, friends and the community for coming to the ceremony.
Jackson added the community wouldn't just see firemen riding up and down the road with the red lights on.
"We are going to be doing things in the community," he said. "Most times, you just see firemen running up and down the road with red lights on. And that is not going to be the Bennettsville Fire Department. We are going to be there for our citizens."
Harpe said for those who hadn't met Jackson, they could see the poise and composure that council saw when he was articulating his vision for the fire department.
"We're excited about what you bring to the table," he said.
Council member Bernice Johnson said they appreciated him for accepting the responsibility in the city of Bennettsville.
"The key to life is prayer and you continue to do that," she said. "We are here as a team and we want to work with you."
Council member Tyron Abraham welcomed Jackson and his family to the city.
Police Chief Kevin Miller wanted him to know the police department will work together with him and the fire department.
The opening prayer was given by Pastor J.R. Chavis and the closing prayer by Pastor Eddie Davis.