Cheryl Allen believes 4 decades of service have prepared her to be coroner
By Jim Turner

Posted on May 4, 2014 10:04 PM

This is the second in a series of features on candidates who have advertised on The Logan Journal.

Although many people recognize Cheryl Allen as “the girl who climbed the fire ladder in parades,” she would rather be known for her service to Logan County throughout the 38 years since she graduated from Lewisburg High School.

She believes that service as a nurse, a fire fighter, an emergency services manager, an EMT and a first responder has prepared her to seek the office of coroner in the May 20 Democratic primary election.

Allen is the first woman chief of Russellville Rural Fire Department and the first chief whose only responsibility is emergency services at Logan Aluminum. She is also a state fire instructor and teaches classes for Lexington Fire Officers School and Texas A&M Univeristy.

“I have often worked with and ministered to people in their darkest hours, either when they are dealing with the tragic death of a loved one or the loss of most of their possessions in a fire,” she says. “It would be a natural extension of that to serve Logan County as coroner.”

After studying medical services under Gloria Robinson at the Russellville Area Technology Center, she spent four year working as a CNA at Logan County Hospital. She has been with the aluminum plant at Epley Station virtually since its beginning, and has been a firefighter and EMT at Logan Aluminum since 1983. She earned a degree in Applied Fire Science from Bowling Green Technical College.

Upon the invitation of friend and volunteer fireman Ray Hart, she became a Russellville Rural Fire Fighter 33 years ago and rose through the ranks as a sergeant and then a captain for several years before succeeding long-time chief Ben Ferguson three years ago.

The position of fire chief at Logan Aluminum had been handled on a rotating basis, but when it was offered to her, she said she would take it only if became a permanent position. Management agreed to that plans. She has 65 people who work at Logan ready to respond to emergencies upon her call. Sixteen of them are also instructors and are capable of managingling emergencies at the plant if she is not there, she says.

Allen has heard two questions often as she has campaigned. One is if she has time to do the job, “I’ve discussed it with my bosses and they are in 100 percent agreement with my running for coroner,” she says. “My work hours are very flexible, and I’m often called away from the plant for fires, wrecks and other first responder services. Many times I am already on the scene when a death needs investigating. Every coroner I’ve ever known, including the current one, has had a full-time job in addition to being coroner.”

Second, she says people ask her if she is certified to be a coroner. “I’ve learned that you can’t be certified until you’ve been elected coroner, sworn in and bonded,” she says. “I was ready to get the certification now, but I found out that can only happen after I am elected.”

Cheryl is married to Tim Allen, who also works at Logan Aluminum. She has three children, with the youngest set to graduate from Russellville High School this month. She is a member of Victory Baptist Church and relies heavily on her faith.

“At age 56, I was asking myself and praying about how I could best spend the last leg of my life. I feel that I can minister to people as coroner,” Cheryl Allen says. “I love being a servant to others.”

Paid for by Cheryl Allen

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