Grand Forks fire chief retires after nearly 45 years fighting blazes


“I am wholesome and I am having fun with my job. However I feel that a totally different hearth chief might take our hearth division another step into the longer term,” he stated. “I’ve a couple of issues I need to do with my household and my associates. Typically work will get in the best way of that. It sounds foolish, however I need to take pleasure in the remainder of my life.”

O’Neill, who was born and raised in Grand Forks, joined the division in 1973 as a “pipeman,” rising to fireside chief in 1999. He stated he is most pleased with the division’s new 27-acre coaching facility, full with lecture rooms and a variety of things to assist simulate automotive extrication and preventing blazes in excessive-rise buildings. He submitted his letter of resignation in early November, he stated, and his final day on the workplace will probably be Jan. 5.

“(The town has) been excellent to me in my profession,” O’Neill stated. “It is given me an terrible lot of alternatives. and I hope I am leaving the division within the form that everyone anticipated.”

Metropolis Administrator Todd Feland stated he expects an interim chief to be appointed in coming days to steer the division after O’Neill steps down, with a brand new chief chosen by the top of March. That new chief ought to be on the job as quickly as early April, Feland stated.

“He is actually Mr. Grand Forks,” Feland stated. “Having lived right here his complete life, his household being so outstanding—together with his father being a former mayor in grand forks—simply all his many years of dedication to the hearth division and the town of Grand Forks, he is added extraordinary profit.”



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