On March 22, 2021, Fire Chief Jeffrey A. Wilson of the Oxford (MA) Fire Department was laid to rest following a courageous battle with occupational thyroid cancer. Chief Wilson was truly dedicated to public service serving a prestigious 48-year career.
Chief Wilson, a lifelong Oxford resident, joined the fire department in 1972. In the beginning of his career, he would become the ambulance director at the age of 26. As the years progressed, he rose through the ranks to become Fire Chief. When he became the full time Fire Chief, he was instrumental in merging the ambulance and the fire department.
Chief Wilson defined leadership every day on the job, mentoring many of his firefighters to move onto to become successful fire officers and chiefs, one of those being his son Jason Wilson who currently serves as a Lieutenant with the Walpole Mass Fire Department.
He was influential in creating the Paramedic/Basic waiver so that Oxford and other towns could have the benefits of Paramedic care within their communities. He also served for the Massachusetts Fire District 7 Committee, coordinating the regional communications team, served with the Central Mass EMS Corporation and Homeland Security boards.
After his retirement from Oxford, he could not get away from his passion and joined the Sutton Mass Fire Department where you could easily find him keeping up the District 7 communications truck,
teaching fire prevention in the schools or at the senior center or
continually mentoring members, including Sutton Fire Chief Matt Belsito who credits Jeff’s being a solid role model. He was truly
dedicated to the profession. He officially retired from Sutton as Fire Chief Emeritus in February.
The funeral procession drove by Oxford Fire headquarters where two wreaths were placed, one each for his time on the Oxford and Sutton departments. Burial took place in North Cemetery in Oxford where a heartfelt Last Alarm was transmitted.
The void that is now left by Chief Wilsons passing will be felt by both his family and the Fire-EMS community for a long time.
God speed Chief, until we meet again.
– Fire News photos by Bud Harris and Paul Shea