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Fire Chief

Chief James O'Hanlon

(Proudly Serving from 1982 - Present)


James O'Hanlon has served the Buhl community for over 20 years. Brought up in the Buhl community, he knows just about everyone who lives in the area. James has been active in the department since the day the department started, in one way or another. From helping to build the station, one brick at a time, to serving as the fire chief, James has been involved in every aspect of the department's operation.

The fire department was a family affair for James. Both prior chiefs of the department were related to James, and James was present learning from them every step of the way. Getting elected to the position of Fire Chief was a natural fit for James, considering all that he's experienced. "I could tell you some stories...", he said jokingly.James wasn't joking, however. The story of the history of the communities of Buhl, Elrod, Coker, and Holman are things that are on immediate recall for James. When hanging around the station, James has been known to tell a story or two. 

James invested his heart and soul in to the Sipsey Valley Volunteer Fire Department. His excitement about the department today is the same level of excitement when he was around his dad and uncle when the department got its start. He can usually be found in a Sipsey Valley t-shirt or jacket, with a radio on his side.

When James isn't working at the fire station, James works for the Tuscaloosa County Public Works Department. James is married, and has 2 children. He's also an active member of the Buhl Baptist Church.

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