Editor's Office Interview

Beloved fireman retires after 20+ years with City of Manning


On September 2, James “Mickey” Kindell retired from the City of Manning Fire Department after serving 20+ years. In honor of his service, The Manning Times asked Kindell to sit for an Editor’s Office Interview. 

Dana McCoy, Reporter: When did you first start at the Manning fire department?

James “Mickey” Kindell: September of 1990.

Was this something you wanted to pursue after high school?

No, I got out of high school in 1984 and I was in construction all my life but this was something I wanted to do i volunteered for 12 years before being hired full time.

When did you get hired full time?

Answer- I got hired full time on July 12, 2001.

What inspired you to become a firefighter.

Answer- I had some bad experiences with fire growing up and I didn’t want it to happen to anyone else.

Where were you born and raised.

I was born in Washington DC. My grandma and granddad got me when I was 2weeks old. My granddad has always been in construction and then I grew up in Manning.

How did you get to where you are today?

I was always in construction before I started full time with the fire department and once I got in full time I kind of backed off with construction and worked the days I’m off. I had my construction license for 24 years. I knew once I retired I would go back to that full time. I’ve done all the things I’ve wanted to do as a firefighter. I started as an engineer to lieutenant and then investigator for the fire department.

Would you say your passions in life were construction and being a firefighter?

Yes those are the two things i’ve done all my life and then eight years ago I built Jk’s house of Ribs.

What inspired you to open that restaurant and begin your own business?

I’ve been around alot of guys who bar-b-que and I thought I should try it too and that’s how I kind of got into cooking. My dad and grandad used to cook a lot and he also had a restaurant in Boston.

After construction do you plan to focus on the restaurant?

I have about seven more years and if I hang with construction for those seven and I’ll go ahead and retire and cook the rest of my time.

What have you learned during your time working at the Fire station?

Don’t play with matches and stop drop and roll. But Like i said it was a good career and I got involved with the investigation part and I learned alot from that.

What advice would you give your younger self pursuing this career?

It’s hard to say because it’s something I really wanted to do and I volunteered for 12 years before I made it my career. It was just a good experience and I enjoyed doing it while helping people.


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