Sunday March 24, 2013

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks, my utmost respect, and the true admiration that I have for the fire chief of Tyringham, Jim Curtin. This man has been a lifelong resident of the town, an active member of the fire department for the past 45 years, and has been the fire chief here since 1981, a position that is so very near and dear to his heart.

On Monday, March 4, at the monthly meeting of the Tyringham Fire Company, in which the annual elections are held, Fire Chief Curtin distributed a letter to each member present and conveyed to them that he was seeking re-election for one more year of service, and during that time he would be announcing his retirement and would like to retire on his own terms. All he wanted was just one more term to proudly serve the residents of this town that he calls home.

When the meeting was underway a discussion ensued regarding who was eligible to vote and who was not eligible to vote at the annual election. A motion was made by the chief to postpone the election for one month until the bylaws could be looked at by a committee and the town counsel to review the bylaws. The motion did not pass. Unfortunately, with the motion not passing this resulted in the election of a new chief. Just one more year, that’s all Chief Curtin asked for.

It’s not all about the title of fire chief. While the title is a tremendous honor, I am sure many people don’t realize that it’s not just about responding to the call, and saving lives and buildings. There are hours devoted to making sure that firefighters are conforming to all of the new state safety regulations and assuring that firefighters have the right equipment, and training, to perform their duties and ensure their safety and the safety of others.

Chief Curtin has built a terrific camaraderie with the fire chiefs and the many members of the other departments in the county. The majority of these volunteer departments in the county are dependent on fundraising to keep them operating and providing fire and EMS protection for their town. Tyringham is no exception. Jim has always made it a point to support all of the surrounding towns in their annual fund-raising events as he knows how important it is to support these departments. I hope this outpouring of support continues for these surrounding mutual aid companies.

I am so proud of Chief Curtin for what he has done in committing endless hours to providing the utmost service to this wonderful little village that we call Tyringham.

Oh, by the way, this is my dad that I am writing about and I am so proud of him, and what he has so unselfishly provided to this town. I have experienced the commitment and devotion firsthand that he provided to this fire department and this town. Shame on all of you who don’t feel the same and didn’t let him fulfill his last year of service to the town.

DENISE CURTIN

Tyringham