Fire Chief Mike Dalsing will retire June 10 after 41 years with the St. Joseph Fire Department.
City Manager Bryan Carter announced Dalsing’s retirement at the end of the city council meeting Monday.
“I’d actually planned to go a couple years ago,” Dalsing said. “When COVID hit, it was just kind of one of those things that didn’t really feel comfortable leaving in the middle of a pandemic.”
Dalsing began his tenure with the department in 1979 and was named chief in 2008. He taught several classes and improved the department by requiring EMT licenses. He loved that every day was different.
“It’s the kind of job that whenever you come you’re not making widgets or wadgets, every day is different,” Dalsing said. “You don’t know if you’re going to get a cat out of a tree or help somebody on a medical call or have a fire.”
Dalsing also saw the completion of three new fire stations and recently broke ground for the new Fire Station 8. He said his staff and the city made those accomplishments happen.
“I’m gonna miss the people the most,” Dalsing said. “I’ve been really lucky. The citizens of town and the council’s have been extremely supportive. I tell people that it takes three years to build a fire station and they look at you like you’re crazy, but it takes about that long for government to build something.”
Kenny Cordonnier, chief of fire prevention, will serve as the interim fire chief. Cordonnier has been with the fire department for 39 years.
“I’ve got a great staff,” Dalsing said. “They can say everything they want to say about me, but the staff has done all the heavy lifting for these projects. The fire department is going to be in good hands.”