Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Greensburg Pennsylvania fire chief leaving post he's held since 1953

Greensburg icon J. Edward Hutchinson wants to make a fitting exit after more than six decades as fire chief. 
“I want to get on a horse and ride off like John Wayne into the sunset, and wave,” said Hutchinson, who will turn 95 in November. “I want a little humor.” 
The man popularly known as “Hutch” will not run for a 22nd term, leaving the fire department to find another leader for the first time since 1953. 
Hutchinson has been chief longer than most of his firefighters have been alive. 
“Sixty-three years is a long friggin' time,” he said. 
It is time to pass the job to someone new, he said — and for a well-deserved retirement after decades spent constantly on call. 
“Fire chief in Greensburg is 24 hours, seven days a week,” Hutchinson said. 
Applicants interested in the unpaid position must submit a letter to the fire department's board of control by Nov. 2, board president Jim Buscaglio said. 
“It's going to take a person who's going to try to fill his shoes, but I don't think they're going to be able to do it. I think it's going to be very tough,” he said. “I certainly don't want that position.” 
The department's nearly 300 volunteer members will vote on a new chief before city council has final say. 
One person has applied so far, Buscaglio said. He declined to say who until the board has seen all applications. 
Rather than waiting until the end of the year, when his term expires, Hutchinson said he will ask Mayor Rob Bell to swear in a new chief as soon as one is selected. 
Hutchinson knew how to get whatever the department needed, Buscaglio said. He could always bend the right ears and get the right grants to keep his department up with state-of-the-art gear. Click here to continue reading.

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