Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite and the Board of Aldermen unveiled the first plaque on the city’s Tribute Hall wall at City Hall. The plaque recognizes the contributions of the city’s first fire chief, Vernon McCammon, who led the fire department when Southaven was incorporated in 1980. He continued in that position until 2006, serving under three mayors, which McCammon credited for supporting him in his 26 years at the department helm.
“I had three mayors and all of them supported me in my endeavors,” McCammon said. “If we needed equipment, I’d explain to them what we needed and they would get it.”
McCammon started as part of the Southaven Fire Department before incorporation, joining the department in 1968. He took on the rank of Lieutenant in 1971 and became fire chief three years later.
During his time as fire chief, McCammon was part of the group that created the first-ever EMS service in DeSoto County.
Musselwhite explained the Tribute Hall idea came about when plans were being put together for the renovation of City Hall.
“One of the priorities I wanted to see added was an archive, library, and Tribute Hall,” Musselwhite said. “The city has never had any kind of museum. We’re still a fairly new city, having been incorporated in 1980, so we never really had anything to celebrate our past.”
The mayor added the choice for McCammon was a very easy one for him and the Board of Aldermen.
“The city had massive challenges during the early years as a city and he was the fire chief from 1980-2006 and managed the growth of that,” Musselwhite said. “He kept the city safe during monumental growth years and then mentored countless numbers of men and women in the fire operation. He’s been a great leader for our city and a very special man for our city.”