When Lt. Neal Knight finishes his shift at 7 a.m. Friday morning, Dec. 22, 2017, he will be hanging up his hat at the Monroe Fire Department for the last time. After 31 years with the MFD, the 63-year-old fire investigator is retiring.
“Some time around 1977, after the Navy got done with him, he got involved with the fire services,” said Capt. Jack Armstrong with MFD. “He was even a chief at Social Circle before there was even an official fire department – when it was just a volunteer fire department. He hired the first three drivers for Social Circle. He then got involved with Walton, and with Monroe, so its over a span of almost 40 years that he has been involved with fire services in this area. So when he hangs his hat up as our arson investigator, he is done.”
Knight also worked for GTE or Alltel, (now Windstream) during his time with MFD and Armstrong said he would sometimes arrive at a fire in the GTE or Alltel vehicle to investigate a fire.
“The would let him do it,” Armstrong said. Knight said it was allowed because it was considered a public service.
The Fire Department had a retirement celebration for Knight and Monroe City Administrator Logan Propes also attended to wish him well in his retirement. Knight said arson investigator for MFD was one of his two current jobs. He is retiring from MFD, but going forward he will be working full time in his other job. Friday morning, he will be checking out on his final shift with MFD one last time. In honor of his 31 years of dedicated service to the MFD, Knight was given a Fireman’s Axe with an engraved plaque.
“He is the rarity,” Armstrong said. “They don’t make them like him anymore.”