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Salt Lake City fire battalion chief retires after 39 years

By Nadine Wimmer | Posted - Nov 15th, 2012 @ 6:40am


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SALT LAKE CITY — After 39 years of the job, one of Salt Lake City's finest is retiring. Wednesday was a bittersweet day for the fire department as they said goodbye to Battalion Chief Michael Andrew.

Firefighting has been a family tradition for the Andrew's. Both Michael and his little brother Jim always wanted to be firemen.

"Every young man, every boy wants to be a fireman when he's little," Jim Andrews said. "With our dad being there, we always looked up to him as being a hero and someone who took care of us and someone who took the job seriously.

Their father joined the fire department in 1941 and ever since they could remember both brothers kept the tradition and the dream to work in the department alive. I had no set time of how long I wanted to work, but I did aspire to want to be a captain like my dad," Michael Andrew said, "and it happened that I made battalion chief."

Andrew joined SLCFD on Feb. 1, 1974. During his time at SLCFD, Andrew was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant, captain, battalion chief and deputy chief. He also spent time as an arson investigator and was captain over the training division.

Together, the Andrew family dedicated more than 108 years as firefighters serving Salt Lake City.

"There isn't a block or a street that I cannot drive down that I typically look at a building and recall an incident, whether it was a medical call or a fire call," Andrew said.

"Some of those experiences are kind of tragic in my recollection, and some of the sad things that we've witnessed through the years."

But he remembers just as many times and places where he's done good and made a difference, he said.

The chief is looking forward to retirement and is excited to spend more time at home with his wife. "Every part of this city is part of me. We're part of Salt Lake City," Andrew said.

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