Tecumseh's Fire Chief Calling It a Career

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The chief of the Tecumseh Fire Department is retiring.

Doug Pitre, chief since 2011, has been on the job for 39 years.

He says it's time to step aside.

"What happen is my contract was done last year at the end of December and the mayor asked me if I would stay one more year and I said yes. Probably by the end of March, I kind of knew maybe I was pushing it too long , you know you know when your times to go," says Pitre.     

He started his fire fighting career as a volunteer.

"In those days it was not as it is now,  When we post for jobs now, we get 100 applicants.  When I wanted to start on the fire department, I went to the chief's house and said I would like to be a fireman, he said okay come on out, if you get along with the guys you're on," says Pitre. "I was fortunate, I grew up in Tecumseh so it was just a matter of guys, I went to school with now, was now on the fire department with."

During his 39-years on the job, he says he'll always remember the Bouduelle fire in Tecumseh 2014 and an 87-vehicle crash on the 401 between Windsor and Tilbury in 1999, which killed eight people and left dozens injured. 

"One that really made me decide that I wanted to move to the management end was the 401," says Pitre.  "When we had the 401, I was just a fire fighter 10-years and I saw my mentor how he spoke with his captains and decided how things were going to get done and I thought I wanted to be there.  I want to be in there to make some decisions and that really drove me at looking to move up."

Pitre also served as the town's Director of Fire Services.

His last day on the job is July 12th.

The town posted the fire chief position on its website on Monday.