Fire Chief James S. Baker, Sr. joined the Lyndon Volunteer Fire Department as a young volunteer in 1963 while still attending Westport High School. In his role as a volunteer firefighter he rose all the way up thru to the rank of Fire Chief. He was appointed by Chief Don White as the acting “Day Chief” as part of an Insurance Services Office (ISO) fire department rating improvement plan. In 1980 following the retirement of Chief White, he was first appointed Fire Chief of the Lyndon Fire Protection District by the board of trustees, serving one year in the position. In 1982 he was again appointed as Fire Chief after the resignation of Chief Courtney Deuser. He served continually as Fire Chief from 1982 until his retirement in 2008. During this time he transitioned the fire department from an all-volunteer force to a combination career and volunteer fire department.
Chief Baker was the first full time employee of the Fire District beginning on September 17, 1984. In 1990 he received state and local recognition and awarded the department’s “Medal of Honor” for his actions including multiple rescues at an apartment building fire in an elderly resident complex. He was also a driving force behind the founding of the Kentucky Association of Fire Chiefs and served in a leadership capacity for the state association. He was awarded the department’s “Expeditionary Service Medal” for this service. Chief Baker was a leader in the Jefferson County Fire Chiefs Association for many years and was instrumental establishing the Louisville & Jefferson County Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial in downtown Louisville. He helped guide the county departments into their own radio dispatch system and establish one of the first medical response programs for county fire services. Chief Baker lead efforts to break down “boundaries”, for the betterment of our communities, by pushing for closest station response and automatic aid. Service to Lyndon and all communities was important to Chief Baker who was one that saw no “boundaries”! During the later years of his fire service career, and following his retirement, Jim Baker, Sr. served 10 years as an elected Councilman on the Lyndon City Council.
Outside of the fire service Chief Baker was an active member of Southeast Christian Church, Lyndon Masonic Lodge #960, Kosair Shrine Temple, and Lyndon Elks Lodge #2052.
Chief Baker is survived by his wife, Betty Baker, his children, Jim Baker, Jr. (Hollie), Kevin Baker (Pamela) and Laura Montgomery (Kevin), 9 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.