Wendell fire chief ending 57-year career

WENDELL, Mass. (AP) – The town of Wendell’s fire chief is retiring after 57 years as a firefighter, 38 years as chief.

Chief Everett Ricketts is stepping down at the end of the month.

The 77-year-old Ricketts moved from Boston to the Franklin County town in 1955 to become a pig farmer. He joined the volunteer fire department two years later and became chief in 1976.

Some things haven’t changed in that time. The department is still all-volunteer, his job still part-time.

But the technology has advanced.

He tells The Recorder of Greenfield that firefighting used to be putting “the wet stuff on the red stuff.” Now it’s all two-way radios and thermal imaging.

An accomplished traveler, he plans to travel more in retirement and enjoy his large family, which includes two great-great grandchildren.

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