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Hickory Fire Department retirements

Hickory Fire Department retirements

Jan 12, 2022 | Fire

Congratulations to these fire department employees on their retirements.

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Patrick Auton (retired)
Fire Captain James Patrick Auton has also retired as a member of the Hickory Fire Department. Auton joined the fire department on September 23, 1991. During his career he has obtained International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) certifications from the North Carolina Fire & Rescue Commission, as a Firefighter level 2, Fire Service Instructor level 2, Live Fire Instructor (NFPA 1041), Fire and Emergency Vehicle Driver, Rapid Intervention Team and Fire and Life Safety Educator level 2.

Auton, holds IFSAC and National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board) Accredited certifications as a Fire Officer level 3, Hazardous Materials Technician, Hazardous Materials Incident Commander, Incident Safety Officer, Health and Safety Officer, Airport Rescue Firefighter (ARFF) and Driver Operator Pumps, Driver Operator ARFF, Driver Operator Mobile Water Supply, Driver Operator Aerial, Public Safety Telecommunicator, and Wildland Firefighter.

In Technical Rescue, he holds IFSAC and Pro Board certifications in the areas of Confined Space, Ropes, Vehicle Machinery Rescue (VMR), Trench and Structural Collapse. Auton is currently certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) through the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services and currently certified as a National Registry EMT.

Auton has continued his education by completing training in the NIMS (National Incident Management System) and various classes through the National Fire Academy including Incident Command 300 and 400. Managing Company Tactical Operations, Preparation for Initial Company Operations, Strategy and Tactics for Initial Company Operations, Decision Making for Company Operations and Fire Arson Investigation. He is certified by the North Carolina Code Officials as a Fire Inspector Level 1.

Auton graduated from Hibriten High School and continued his formal education by graduating with an Associate’s Degree in 2008 from Central Piedmont Community College in Fire Protection Technology in Applied Science and also graduated from Community College of the Air Force with Associates Degree in Fire Science in 2016.

Auton holds the Advance Firefighter Certificate from the North Carolina State Firefighter Association and has completed the demanding training course of the North Carolina Breathing Equipment and Firefighter Survival School in 1996 and 2001.

Auton is a retired member of the North Carolina National Guard serving in the Army and Air National Guard as a non-commissioned officer that served with 21 years. He served four deployments including Operation Desert Shield/Storm and two deployments for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Freedom Sentinel. During his military career he was awarded several accommodations including Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and Combat Action Badge.

In 2006 and 2016, Auton was awarded Firefighter of the Year presented by Elks Lodge of Hickory. Auton’s hobbies include being in the outdoors and is an avid deer and turkey hunter. He is married to Patricia and is active in the community and serves as a board member for the Pumpkin Center Fire Department. He attends Massapoag Baptist Church.



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Scott Anderson (retired)
Fire Apparatus Operator Scott Anderson has retired from the fire department. His interest in firefighting began at an early age knowing and watching his Dad who was a firefighter. In 1989 he joined the Viewmont Fire Department, where he served as a member for four years. With the experience he received, he decided to make a career move and joined the Hickory Fire Department on March 22, 1993. As well as training required by the Hickory Fire Department, Anderson has obtained certification in the areas of NC Level III Firefighter, NC State Hazardous Materials Operations level, NC Level II NC EMT Basic, Technical Rescuer, Rapid Intervention training, and many specialized aircraft training courses. Anderson has completed the Piedmont Natural Gas School in Charlotte. In 2003, he was promoted to Fire Apparatus Operator and has completed training as a specialized Aircraft firefighter.

Anderson is a third generation firefighter with the Hickory Fire Department. His grandfather, Jack Anderson was a member of the department and his father, Jerry Anderson was a retired Lieutenant. After retirement, he plans to enjoy life and being retired.



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Brian Murray (retired)
After 30 years, Deputy Chief Brian Murray has retired. Murray has been with the department since 1991 and has served in the roles of firefighter, Captain, Battalion Chief, and Deputy Chief. He is a certified Fire Service Instructor Level II, a Technical Rescuer, and a Level II Firefighter through the North Carolina Fire & Rescue Commission. He is also certified as an EMT-Intermediate.

Murray earned an Associate’s Degree in Fire Protection and Technology from Cleveland Community College and is pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Administration. He has obtained Fire Officer I, II, and III certification and teaches courses through local colleges. Murray has provided autism recognition and response training for firefighters and first responders throughout North Carolina, providing strategies for aiding persons with autism in emergencies. For the last several years, he has led the Hickory Fire Department Bikes for Tykes charity event, which has provided bicycles for underprivileged children in the community.

Brian and his wife, Donna, live in Hickory. They have two children, Jacob and Olivia, a daughter-in-law, Alexus, and are proud grandparents to Landon.

City of Hickory


76 North Center Street
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
Phone: (828) 323-7400
Fax: (828) 323-7550

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Hickory is for doers and makers seeking a well-rounded community, located between Charlotte and Asheville at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along I-40, where a collective spirit of craftsmanship strengthens any endeavor with detail, artistry, and quality.

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