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Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue hires new assistant chief
Posted On: Apr 16, 2014
Assistant Chief Kim Lawson

MURFREESBORO — Kim Lawson, a veteran of Nashville Fire Department, has been named Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department’s new assistant chief of medical services, according to a news release.

Lawson, who recently retired from the Nashville Fire Department after 34 years, will join the Murfreesboro department May 5.

Her career began in 1979 as an emergency medical technician and she rose through the ranks to become a paramedic district chief and assistant chief of EMS, managing the emergency response of a staff of ambulances and EMTs and paramedics throughout the city.

“Lawson brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Chief Cumbey Gaines said in the release. “We are pleased to have her join our administrative team and are ready to begin the journey toward enhancing the medical services we provide for the community.”

Lawson served in the EMS Bureau for 22 years before joining the senior staff at Nashville Fire headquarters. Lawson served as the department spokeswoman and managed the Community Services Bureau, which included public information, public fire education and community risk reduction. She was promoted to deputy chief in 2003, the first female to ever hold the rank within the department.

The Murfreesboro City Council approved the addition of the job to MFRD’s administrative staff on Jan. 16. The position was created as part of a process that will allow MFRD to provide a higher level of medical care to the city’s residents and visitors. MFRD worked very closely with the city’s administration, human resources and legal departments to develop a plan for expanding the scope of practice of the department’s first-responder service so that it more closely reflects the licensure, credentialing, and training of department personnel. MFRD plans to increase the level of first responder to basic life support.

Lawson will work with city leaders, MFRD administrative staff and shift personnel, as well as Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services to facilitate the necessary changes, the release said. 

“I am honored to join Chief Gaines and the Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department and I feel very privileged to be given an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the emergency medical services in one of the fastest growing cities in the country,” Lawson said in the release. “I am looking forward to joining a life-saving team who makes it clear that the safety of the residents and visitors is priority.”

Lawson has participated and managed several large scale emergencies including EMS manager for the Tornado of 1998, Information Manager for the notable NHC Nursing Home fire, and served as the Joint Information Center Manager for the Flood of 2010. She has been interviewed on several National networks and brings to Murfreesboro an abundance of emergency management training, certifications, and experience.

Lawson has been publically recognized for her information management of the flood event, and additionally for her work in public education which resulted in the lowest fire fatality rates in the history of the department. She also contributed to a Public Access Defibrillator and CPR in Schools program which resulted in Nashville Mayor Karl Dean receiving a prestigious award from the American Heart Association for being the first city in Tennessee to be a “Heart Ready City.” The program enabled the placement of AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) in more than half of all Metro buildings as well as CPR training for the employees and high school students.

A Nashville native, Lawson is a licensed paramedic, obtained from the University of Tennessee. She holds an associate of science degree in paramedic technology from Volunteer State Community College, a bachelor’s degree in public safety administration from Grand Canyon University, and has completed the Fire Service Executive Management Program at Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt. Additionally, she has been certified by several nationally recognized organizations as a public life safety educator and media relations professional.

IAFF local 3035
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