By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Bend Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Dave Howe spent much of Friday clearing out his office.
“These bag pipes are from the 1800’s!”
After 42 years of service, Howe is retiring.
“I’ve been here longer than anyone else in the whole city of Bend,” he said. “I’m the longest serving employee. It’s hard to leave.”
Howe says the best part of his decades long career has been working alongside his colleagues.
“Being able to work with a bunch of people to accomplish really good things, you know, there are people calling us on the worst day of their lives.” he said. “For us to have the ability and the training and the motivation to go and help them is very gratifying.”
Howe is one of half a dozen members within the fire department who have retired in the last three months- – taking more than 100 years of service with them.
“Combined amount of service of all of us, 6 of us in the Bend Fire Department is 176 years,” he said.
Even with so much experience walking out the door, Howe says he has faith in the future of the department.
“We have fortunately very capable people and one of the reasons they’re so capable is because they’re quick learners.” he said. “Every generation has new challenges and every generation has new tools to deal with those challenges, but there’s always that underlying, ‘We’re doing this for the community.”
Luckily, Howe’s not going too far. Though he’s retiring, he’ll be back to help his successor settle in, and plans to volunteer with the department.
He’s to stay busy, he said, so he doesn’t drive his wife crazy.
“I broke up the rocking chair a long time ago and tossed it in the fireplace,” he joked. “Not gonna be on the porch very much.”