Wilton: Fire chief resigns post

  • —Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/3/2017 6:16:58 AM

After more than 35 years on the department, Fire Chief Raymond Dick stepped down at the turn of the year, citing “politics” as the reason behind his decision.

Dick put in his resignation, effective Jan. 1, a week ago. 

“I’m just tired of all the politics. It takes a toll on you. I’ve done a lot of good things, and I don’t want to get into a fight with the politics, I just want to walk away and be happy with what I’ve done,” said Dick.

Dick specifically cited a Select Board decision to create a committee to look at possible “synergies” between the emergency departments, after Selectman Steve McDonough proposed housing the ambulance bay at the recently renovated fire house. 

“I thought they ought to have talked to me about that,” said Dick.

Dick, who’s in his 36th year on the department, and 20th of being fire chief, decided that it was time to step away and let someone else take the reigns. 

“Any of my [deputy] chiefs or captains are more than capable of taking over. Whomever they put in there from the Fire Department would do a fine job,” said Dick. The fire chief is a position appointed by the Select Board. 

Dick said he plans to leave the department fully, saying he wants to give the new chief room to establish themselves in the position.

“You don’t need two chefs in one kitchen,” said Dick.

His advice for his replacement? Go in with an open mind.

“Things are always changing in the fire service. What you do today is going to be just the opposite of what you do tomorrow,” said Dick. 

There are things about the job that he won’t miss, said Dick – mainly jumping out of bed at 2 a.m. in -30 temperatures to deal with a chimney fire. But what he will miss, he said, is the cameraderie.

“I’m going to miss all the guys. We’re a close-knit family. Organization wise, I can’t beat it, it’s the best department I’ve known,” he said. And that’s the other piece of advice he has for his successor: Take care of your crew, and they’ll take care of everything else.

“Without your firefighters, you’re just one guy standing there, waiting for help,” said Dick. “Being fire chief is like instructing an orchestra. If there’s no on there to play the instruments, you don’t get much music. But you put the right people in the right places, and you get something pretty special.”

Dick said in his tenure at the department, he stayed long enough to see the renovation of the fire house a few years ago, which was one project that was a long-time goal of his. 

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support over the years,” said Dick. “Everyone’s been great to work with.”

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244.


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