Town Remembers Former Mayor, Fire Chief Norman Johnson

Johnston Norman RecognitionThe Smithfield Town Council and Mayor John Lampe took time during the June 2nd council meeting to honor former Smithfield Fire Chief and Mayor Norman Johnson who died March 10th at the age of 79.

Mayor Lampe read a proclamation before presenting it to members of Johnson’s family.

Norman Johnson’s son, Tim Johnson said, “I would like to thank the mayor and city council for putting this together. He genuinely loved the Town of Smithfield. Thank you for taking the time to recognize his service.”

Johnson became a Smithfield fireman in July 1963.  In January 1992 he was appointed as the first full-time fire chief for the Town of Smithfield. Later that same year, he was named Director of Emergency Services, including Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services for the Town. 

Under his leadership, the Smithfield Fire Department and EMS services received numerous recognitions and awards. Johnson was also instrumental in starting the paramedic program in Johnston County. The Smithfield Rescue Squad was the first to offer paramedic level care.

He retired from the Smithfield Fire Department in 2003 after 40 years of service.

In 1995, Johnson received the Governor’s Award for Bravery and Heroism for assisting with the rescue of a man from a burning, wrecked car on Interstate 40 in Wake County.    

Johnson also served on the Smithfield Town Council from 1983-1991. From 2003-2005 he was Mayor Pro Tem. He served as Smithfield Mayor from 2005 to 2009. He also served during that time on the Triangle J Council of Governments and Smithfield Downtown Development Board of Directors.

He was a US Army veteran having served from 1955 to 1957. Johnson was also a rural mail carrier for the US Postal Service, retiring in 1991 after 37 years of service. He was active in scouting and instrumental in starting Scout Troop 33 sponsored by the First Freewill Baptist Church of Smithfield and the church’s youth group.

He was active in his church, serving as a Deacon and Board of Trustees at First Christian Church of Smithfield.

After presenting the proclamation, Mayor Lampe spoke fondly of Johnson saying, “He was a great guy. He was a happy guy. I enjoyed working with him.”