OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Ocean Springs said farewell to a long-time city employee Tuesday night when they honored their retiring fire chief.
Jeffery Ponson started his career with the department in 1982 as a tailboard firefighter that would ride on the outside of the fire engine. He moved his way up the ranks and became chief ten years ago.
The Biloxi native was named Firefighter of the Year five times in his career.
During Hurricane Katrina, Ponson walked through chest-deep water with two other officers to rescue a woman. That was one of his better memories in a business that has many emotional swings.
“It tugs on you later, you know," he said. "When you do save people, It does make you feel a whole lot better helping the citizens out.”
Ponson was honored at the Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen meeting. After his official retirement next week, Ponson said he plans to to take a trip to the Grand Canyon.