Fire Chief Gary Sparks
According to Chief Sparks, he became interested in the fire service as a small boy going to fires with his father who was a volunteer firefighter in the 1970's. Chief Sparks begin working for the City of Oxford at the fire station when he was 15 years old. Chief Sparks worked for Chief Dewey Webb washing trucks, cleaning the station and other jobs around the station. In 1983, Chief Webb approached Chief Sparks about becoming a member of the volunteer force and on May 12, 1983 he became an official member of the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department.
On February 13, 1987, Chief Sparks became a full time member of the Anniston Fire Department. Chief Sparks rose through the ranks at Anniston and was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief on January 3, 2003. Chief Sparks retired after 20 years of service with the Anniston Fire Department on February 13, 2007.
On March 3, 2007, Chief Sparks became the full time Fire Chief for the City of Oxford. Chief Sparks replaced Chief Eugene Smallwood who retired on March 2, 2007.
Chief Sparks is married to the former Monica Tankersley of Saks and they have one son, Robert. Chief Sparks and his family attend Lakeview Baptist Church where he serves as a Sunday School teacher. Chief Sparks has served his community as a volunteer coach for both Baseball and Football for Youth. Chief Sparks served on the Board of Directors of the Oxford Baseball for Youth Program from 1999-2006 with the last 4 years as Commissioner. Chief Sparks was a wrestling official for the Alabama High School Athletic Association for 23 years, serving as President of the Eastern Association for 18 of those years. Chief Sparks is currently serving as the District 2 Assistant Director for Dixie Youth Baseball. Chief Sparks is a member of the Board of Directors of the Oxford Education Foundation and the Oxford Quarterback Club. Chief Sparks is currently the President of the Alabama Association Fire Chief's. Chief Sparks was honored by his peers and the Alabama Fire Chief of the Year in 2014. Governor Robert Bentley appointed Chief Sparks to a 4 year term on the Alabama Personnel Standards Commission in 2015.