SALUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS: Stamps looks back at career of late fire chief

Published 9:20 pm Saturday, March 30, 2024

When Leland Keith Rogers, a 28-year veteran of the Vicksburg Fire Department and former VFD chief, passed away this week, many of his former colleagues were left with fond memories of their service together.

Current Vicksburg Fire Chief Derrick Stamps is one of them. Stamps said not only did Rogers leave a lasting impression on him personally, he left his mark on the department as a whole.

“He was a visionary,” Stamps said. “He was my second chief. The system we have implemented now, he was the author of it. It originated under his administration.”

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The system Stamps refers to is a tiered system VFD uses for compensation, rewards, and motivation for officers to continue to
advance in their training.

Stamps said, while he worked with Rogers for a number of years, it was the late chief’s overall leadership that left the biggest impression.

“You only go in the chief’s office when you’re messing up,” Stamps joked, adding Rogers’ impact will be felt in the department for years to come, a place where he is deeply missed by those he served alongside.

Rogers passed away Sunday, March 24, at the age of 62.

He served as Vicksburg fire chief from 2002 until 2009.

He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Tracy Rogers; their children, Cody Rogers and wife Summer, Kailee Rogers, Angelia LaBarre and husband Robert, Ashley Free and husband Patrick, Jai Reaves and husband J.R., and Kristen Hite and husband Andy; his mother, Mary K Martin; a brother, Michael Martin; and grandchildren, Taylor LaBarre, Ryan LaBarre, Allie Free,
Anslee Free, Miles Hite, Hayes Hite, Shiloh Rogers, and Hudson Rogers.