Greenwood Events
Thursday, October 21st. 1999
West beckons but Greenwood is home
By Bill McCauley
Fire lieutenant Finley B. Jones III knows the country's wide open spaces. Jones' work experience includes driving a tractor-trailer for 6 months on the nation's interstates, part of the time with good friend Stanley Baynard. "We drove as a team," said Jones.
Jones' desire to see the country and live a life of adventure might have come in part from his birth place - Salt Lake City, Utah. His parents met in college out there. He is called "Finn" by friends to distinguish him from his well-known fireman father Finley B. Jones II. His mother, Brenda, serves Greenwood as town manager. She also is actively involved with the fire company's auxiliary.
At the age of 6 months, "Finn" came east with his parents and with the exception of the six months of tractor trailer driving, he's been here ever since.
During those six months, he discovered he didn't like to be away from home as much as the driving required. "I got sick for good old Greenwood," he said. "Didn't think I would, but I did. That and my girlfriend didn't like me to be away 15 days at a time."
One of his trips took him to Utah into the land of his maternal grandparents. He stopped over in Price, Utah, to visit with an aunt for three or four hours after having not seen her for seven years. "I love it out there," he said. "Utah is beautiful."
Jones is single and makes his home on Mill Street in Greenwood. That enables him to often be the first on a fire truck when a call comes.
One of his interests is working on his 4-wheel-drive Blazer that he bought 18 months ago. With his training helping him he attended Sussex Tech where he studied auto body repair he does repairs when needed on the body. He's also a pretty good mechanic. "I can do pretty much anything I get my hands on," he says.
Jones graduated from Sussex Tech in 1992 and went to work for a year with Nanticoke Homes. Following that he went to work in the family business, M. A. Willey Steel.
This Dec. 11 when he turns 27, Jones will have been a fireman for 11 years. For three years he has been fire lieutenant. "I've helped out whenever I could," he said. "I enjoy working with kids and helping communities."
Of fire companies' future in finding members, he says, "It's hard to find decent members. It takes time to be a fireman sometimes it takes four weekends in a row." He added that the fire company recruits largely among people known by the members. "You've got to be able to trust and have confidence in the man alongside you. Your life may depend on him."
On a recent afternoon, Jones was helping Pete Peterman rebuild the roast beef stand to get it ready for the Apple-Scrapple Festival. The construction of the four-wheel-mounted stand began two years ago, with work by Finn's father, Clay Yocum, and several of their friends. Others helping out the evening before the festival included Jason Fannin, Ricky Short, Dean Elliott and Everett Marvel. On their mind, in addition to the festival, was the chiefs' association barbeque the following week.
The fire at the Del Agra plant in Bridgeville several years ago is Jones' most memorable fire. "We were there a lot of hours at least 10," he said. "I was on the roof with my friend Stanley right beside me. Dad was there, too. There was a lot of smoke, almost all the way out to Rt. 13. The fire started at 8 in the morning and it was 1 or 2 the following morning before we got back to the fire hall. Stanley and I went to sleep right on top of the fire truck in our fire fighting gear, we were so sleepy."
What would Jones like to do when he retires? Well, Utah beckons. But that's many years off. In the meantime, in addition to other interests, he admits that he loves flying.
He said that he's so comfortable flying that he can easily fall asleep - rather like falling asleep on the top of a fire truck.