Chief Jim Poplin, of Hamilton County (STARS) Special Tactics and Rescue Service, passed away on July 21, after succumbing to an illness.
In 1983, Chief Poplin founded the Hamilton County Special Tactics and Rescue Service in 1983, and served as its only chief.
Chief Poplin started his service to the community as a volunteer firefighter for Sale Creek Fire Department before moving to the Chattanooga Fire Department. During this time he was involved in providing rescue coverage during the first F-1 Power Boat race during the Riverbend Festival. After the first race, he formed Stars Powerboat Racing Rescue team, which went on to provide safety and water rescue services to both F-1 racing ,and (starting in 1989) APBA Offshore Racing. Jim served as Safety and Medical Director for offshore racing from 1989 until 2003, when he was promoted to director and president of APBA Offshore Racing until retiring in 2007. During his time as president, he was able to bring the offshore races to Lake Chickamauga for three years starting in 2005.
Visitation will be at Heritage Funeral Home on Battlefield Parkway on Monday, July 23, from 4-8 p.m., and Tuesday from 9-11a.m., with the service follow.