(Markesan) Markesan Fire Chief Tom Wilde has stepped down from the position. He plans to stay with the fire department for at least one more year which will give him five decades with the agency.
As the story goes he wanted to be a firefighter when Gerald Westover was the chief. One day in 1973 he got his opportunity, when the department was short a person at the Dalton Water fights and Wilde stepped in to handle the nozzle. The Markesan team ended up winning the tournament and the next week Chief Westover asked him to join the department as a firefighter.
He then became the recording secretary, worked his way up to assistant chief, and took over as chief in 1998. Wilde did have a couple of close calls over the years but escaped without injury.
Among the quips he has offered his fellow firefighters: (quote) “if you show up at an incident without your gear you are only an educated by-stander.”
–Photo courtesy of the Markesan Fire Department Facebook page