Friday, August 9, 2013

Hailey fire chief to retire in October

Mike Chapman has served city for 22 years


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

    Hailey Fire Chief Mike Chapman will retire in October after 22 years of service to the city.
    City Administrator Heather Dawson said at a City Council meeting Monday that she had “a stack” of applications from firefighters around the country seeking to fill the position.
    Dawson said Mayor Fritz Haemmerle will soon announce the date of a retirement celebration for Chapman, likely to be in September.
    Chapman could not be reached for comment.
    The Hailey Fire Department was founded in 1884 with Hailey Hose Co. No. 1 after a conflagration in downtown Hailey destroyed two city blocks. The department’s motto is “Neighbors helping neighbors since 1884.”
    Chapman said in an interview in 2009 that the department has come a long way since it began.
    “If you had a dirty chimney back then, you’d be fined $5, which was a lot of money at that time,” he said.
    In 1889, a second conflagration consumed four city blocks in the downtown. Chapman said only two buildings survived.
    “Following that fire, the city decided to build a hydrant system and required buildings to be built of brick in the downtown four-block area,” he said.




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