Loris Fire Department
I have known Rodney Hardee my entire life. My dad, Jerry Hardee, and Rodney began their journeys on Loris Fire Department around the same time, which happened to also be around when I was born, 40 years ago.
I grew up hanging around the Loris fire station and going to fire calls watching my dad and Rodney fight fires. Seeing these two brave men in action made me want to become a firefighter as well.
When I was 16 or so, I began my fire service career as a cadet. A few years later I became a member of Loris Fire Department and also worked full time as a firefighter. I have had many found memories serving under Rodney. One of my biggest memories was when I made a huge mistake, one that he never let me live down. It wasn’t on a fire ground thankfully. I was tasked with taking the squad truck to fill it up with fuel. I took it to Ford’s Fuel, where the city fills their vehicles. I pulled up to the tank and topped it off. Soon after driving off the motor began acting funny and the RPM’s went real high. To make a long story short, I filled the tank with gasoline for a diesel vehicle. It wasn’t good and the truck had to be taken out of service to repair. I got my rear chewed big time for that one and was never allowed to forget it. It became a laughing moment around the station many times.
I left Loris Fire Department after taking a full time position as a Fire Chief; a position I would never have achieved if it wasn’t for Rodney and my Dad helping shape my career. Through both of their training and guidance, I was able to achieve my dream of becoming a fire chief, something I accomplished at the early age of 27.
I am no longer in the fire service and I have moved on to other dreams, but I will never forget my days served with Rodney Hardee and how he helped me achieve my own dreams of becoming a Fire Chief.
Rest in Peace Assistant Chief Rodney Hardee. You will be forever missed.
J. Hardee, former Fire Chief
Former Member of Loris Fire Department