Lebanon Fire Department Engineer Tyler Baird is a full-time firefighter and has worked at the department for eight years. He followed the career of his father — LFD assistant chief Jason Baird.
The younger Baird just got back from his honeymoon in Jamaica. He quickly returned to his 24-hour shift at the fire department and when he clocked out, he shifted gears to work at his side gig — The Firemen Moving Company.
Tyler Baird was the lead in jumpstarting the Lebanon location of The Firemen Moving Company last February. It’s the third location of a moving company whose employees are mostly offduty firefighters.
Neal Clayton started the company five years ago in Bowling Green, Ky. It’s grown to 150 firefighter employees; there are 12 at Lebanon’s new location, headed by Baird. Another location is in Clearwater, Fla.
Baird said it’s always nice to have a supportive, lucrative side job to augment his firemen’s paycheck and The Firemen Moving Company was a sweet spot for him with a schedule of a 24-hour shift followed by two days off.
“I’m one of the people who just can’t sit at home all day,” said Baird, who began working at the Bowling Green location three years ago.
Clayton purchased the moving company his dad, a fire department captain, started. Clayton recently retired after 11 years with the Bowling Green Fire Department to run the moving company fulltime.
“In 2016, I officially started the moving company,” he said. “Yep, I decided to jump in the pool feet first and give it 100 percent. It’s a dream of mine and working out just great.
“Tyler reached out to me and we were pushing hard to get into the Nashville area moving market. We all know the Nashville housing marking is outrageous. And a location out of Lebanon, with Tyler’s help, was the perfect fit.”
Clayton said he believes in Baird. “He’s a good, honest hardworking guy,” said Clayton. “He is our business’s future.
“Our philosophy is built on customer trust. That’s really our brand. We want to provide great service and also provide a second income for our firefighters. When I was a kid, it was our firefighters who sponsored my Pee-Wee games. Second jobs helped them donate those monies.”
Each of the company’s movers is trained licensed and completely insured.
“That’s what makes the good vibes,” Clayton said “The trust comes is that our workers are already peers in the community and already have been screened.”
Baird said he’s looking for some movers from the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet, which has a different set of shifts than Lebanon. and hopes he’ll have some takers. And while the Mt. Juliet department has a different set of shifts than Lebanon, Baird said it’s completely doable. He just sent out a flyer to garner interest. FDMJ Chief Jamie Luffman said he was not aware of the company, but did not object to firefighters’ second jobs.
Baird and his employees average two to three moves a week already. He said that Clayton “takes care of his guys and girl movers.” And yes, there are a few ladies in this moving business; a few are movers (one was hired recently in Lebanon) and others work packing.
Baird’s crew have been hired to move furniture from one room to another for floor installation and recently moved and entire house and backyard catering business from Nashville to Michigan.
“We make cross country moves,” he said. “What makes us so great is there are firefighters everywhere and until we open more locations, all we have to do is pick up the phone and call a department. Our industry is always willing to help us out.”
Lebanon Firefighter Jeff Davenport has worked at the company for three years.
“They understand and are flexible,” he said. “They know we can’t work every single day of our off time. Our chief is supportive for us to work side jobs as long as they don’t interfere with our full-time work.”
Davenport has helped move many times over the past three years and said the jobs go smoothly. He’s even moved things around the home while people redecorate.
“People trust us before the trip to the ER,” he said. “This way they trust us to assist in a different way.”