It’s with mixed emotions I write this post. To capture almost thirty years in a small post about a person who has accomplished the equivalent of double that, who has opened the doors of this firehouse to men and women of all kinds that can bring something, anything to the table to help the department, and more importantly the town and its community members is quite difficult. The selflessness, commitment and sacrifices that this person has made in that time span is immeasurable. Of the twenty eight year in total, seventeen have been the Fire Chief, the head honcho, the big kahuna.
The groundwork has been carved and the stones are put in place for the future and expansion of the organization by this man. Putting all things before himself and taking the ‘me’ out of the stigma and looking at the ‘we’ and what’s best for the future of the organization and town. From being the face and forefront contact for the Public Safety Complex Project, to budgeting and preparing future staffing, keeping apparatus replacement schedules adhered to, and just day to day operations to make the SHIP (he’s a Veteran Navy submariner) continue sailing smoothly. A recent article was released in a popular fire service magazine, ‘All The World’s a Stage, and The Fire Chiefs Merely Players’ had a great quote which describes the chief perfectly.“A society grows great when old men (women) plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek Proverb
To not recognize the woman pictured by his side would be inhuman. His rock, his support system and confidant. The countless birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, dinners, and other family events that have been disrupted, ruined, or never happened is an undertaking on its own. Although we know these things taking certain promotions and new job functions it takes a toll and without the proper support system in place, it could be detrimental. So thank you to Judy May McArdle (Mrs. Chief, First Lady, The Real Boss) and Erin & Maureen (their daughters) for everything given and taken over these years.
I could go on and on but I’m sure Facebook has a word limit at some point so, without further delay. Thank you and congratulations to Fire Chief John Henry McArdle on your retirement (effective Dec. 31 2018) after 28 years with this organization.
I think I can speak for the entire organization, past and present, thank you for EVERYTHING you have done for us as an organization and individually over the years, it does not go unnoticed and unappreciated!
-Capt. Ryan Higgins