WALLINGFORD — After nearly 27 years of fire department service, Battalion Chief Jim Duffy worked his last shift Monday night.
”I definitely had tears in my eyes,” Duffy said. “I loved what I did and I couldn’t have asked for a better career.”
Duffy described the moment as “bittersweet.” While he enjoyed his work and will miss it, Duffy said it was time to move on to “another chapter in life.”
In 1991, Duffy joined the Wallingford Fire Department, previously serving as a volunteer firefighter for a Long Island department. Duffy was promoted to lieutenant after four years of service and also worked as a public information officer. In 2000, he was promoted to battalion chief.
Throughout the years, Duffy said he traveled around the country and attended firefighter conferences. He also taught seminars in Massachusetts, Indianapolis and Missouri. In retirement, Duffy said he plans to continue teaching, as well as participating in hobbies like hiking and paddle boating.
Battalion Chief Rick Gibson also joined the department in 1991 and was present Monday night when Duffy completed the last shift of his career.
“It was really emotional,” Gibson said. “It’s going to seem really weird not to see him around here anymore.”
Duffy said the job gave him a sense of purpose that was very rewarding, despite meeting people under unfortunate circumstances, such as fires, accidents and medical calls.
”Firefighters have the opportunity to make a difference everyday that they work,” Duffy said.
Gibson said the department has candidates for the newly-vacant position and expects it to be filled in less than a month.
“I’m definitely going to miss him,” Gibson said. “He made an impact on the Wallingford Fire Department.”