Oak Ridge Fire Department Chief Darryl Kerley will discuss at-risk populations and the importance of smoke alarms and exit plans during a meeting this evening.
It’s the monthly meeting of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association, and it starts at 7 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Midtown Community Center. The public is invited.
Kerley will talk about the city’s aging population being somewhat “at risk” and the importance of smoke alarms, exit plans, and personal information forms for residents with special needs at home during an emergency.
“The program ‘Fire Prevention Week—Populations at Risk’ will help you appreciate the danger and be more informed,” a press release said.
Tennessee is in the top five states in the nation in fire deaths. Kerley said he will talk about senior citizens and children and all of the different alarm devices available to alert residents to a fire in the home.
The program will also include a seven-minute video about home exit drills.
Kerley, 55, is a native of South Knoxville, and he now lives in Briarcliff after moving from Seymour with his wife Jamie and daughter Hannah, the press release said. He has a married daughter Ashley and son-in-law Eric Farmer, along with two grandsons, Jackson and Bryce.
Kerley is a 35-year veteran of emergency services who began his fire service career in Knox County in 1978 with Rural/Metro Fire Department, the press release said. In 1981, his family moved to a rural community, and he joined the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department. He served for the next 30 years, holding office as a captain, training officer, assistant chief, and fire chief. He also served on the board of directors for six years.
Kerley also served five years with the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad, where he was trained as a rescue diver, the press release said.
After a 24-year career in engineering services with Tennessee Valley Authority and Batson, Himes, Norvell and Poe, Engineers, he left engineering for full-time employment in emergency services. In 2003, he became the fire chief for the U.S. Department of Energy at the K-25 uranium enrichment site in Oak Ridge, and on Sept. 11, 2011, he became the fire chief for the Oak Ridge Fire Department.
He is currently an adjunct instructor for the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Academy and served two years as an Assistant to Firefighter Grant peer reviewer for the Department of Homeland Security and maintains advanced certifications in confined space and structural collapse rescue. In February 2004, he became accredited as a chief fire officer through the Commission on Professional Credentialing, Center for Public Safety Excellence.