To some, going from being a fireman to being Building & Zoning Director might seem quite the change, but it seems natural to the City of Laurens’ Jeremy Hudson.

Hudson has been a fire marshal for 21 years, which means he is accustomed to inspecting buildings. The Laurens native officially succeeded Clay Rykard in the city post on Monday.

Hudson is excited to take the new position, but not because he thinks the transition is going to be difficult.

“I heard Clay was retiring, and I was just interested in the position,” he said. “I’ve been with the fire department since I was 15 years old. I became full-time 21 years ago. I worked for a couple years in Simpsonville, so I’ve been doing this 23 years.

“Being a full-time fireman, you work 24-hour shifts, and 10 days a month, you’re away from home.”

In a way, it all begins and ends with Laurens District High School. When Hudson was in school there, he participated in a cooperative program conducted with the Laurens Fire Department.

“We would just hang out at the firehouse and learn the job,” he recalled, and that’s how he became a volunteer fireman at age 15.

“I’ve been involved in inspections for quite a while,” he said.

Nowadays he has children at LDHS, and one plays baseball for the Raiders as well as travel baseball in the summer months. A more reliable schedule – with nights and weekends off – appeals to him.

“I need to spend more time watching him play ball,” Hudson said.

He is still going to work as a firefighter part-time. “Kind of a voluntary basis for a little while, anyway” is the way he described it.

“You can’t just stop, cold turkey, something you’ve been involved with for 30 years,” Hudson said.