JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Junction City firefighter who has served the community for more than three decades is marking a milestone in his career.
Battalion Chief Craig Paxton is retiring from the Junction City Fire Department after nearly 32 years.
Paxton was honored with a ceremony at the Junction City Municipal Building Friday.
Junction City Mayor Pat Landes told Paxton that he’s had an impact on thousands of lives over the years and has been a great mentor to younger firefighters.
“It’s just working with the guys up here as long as I have. That’s what makes this job so awesome is the people that you work with and you get a chance everyday to help people because let’s face it, when they call the fire department, they’re having a bad day. There’s some sort of emergency where they’re needing assistance and that’s what so rewarding about the fire service is that we’re there to help,” Paxton told WIBW.
Craig Paxton joined the Junction City Fire Department in 1981 and advanced from firefighter through every single position in the department before becoming a Battalion Chief in 2003.
On his last shift, Paxton was called out to the scene of a train derailment in Junction City near Interstate 70 Wednesday night where 23 coal cars left the tracks. Some of cars overturned while others were crushed, damaging 1,200 feet of track.