Local firefighter retires after 44 years of service - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Local firefighter retires after 44 years of service

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After 44 years of service, NWFD Asst. Chief Al Pesqueira is retiring After 44 years of service, NWFD Asst. Chief Al Pesqueira is retiring
Coworkers gather to celebrate Pesqueira's retirement at NWFD Coworkers gather to celebrate Pesqueira's retirement at NWFD

You could say it's the end of era in the Tucson fire community. After 44 years of dedicated fire service, Northwest Asst. Fire Chief Albert Pesqueira is retiring.

It's hard to sum up that long of a career but Asst. Chief Pesqueira says there are plenty of memories, both good and not-so good, "I have a lot of great memories responding to calls in my own community where I was born, raised, and educated. I came across relatives, friends, and neighbors that I knew and I assisted them during their times of distress."

Pesqueira has been with Northwest Fire for almost 17 years. Before that he spent more than 27 years at the Tucson Fire Department.

In 1970, as a rookie at TFD, Pesqueira was dispatched a call that made him think twice about his chosen career as a firefighter, "I responded to the Pioneer Hotel fire. As a 21 year old firefighter with Tucson Fire, I had only been on for 14 months and I thought to myself is this the way it's going to be? It was tragic then I realized it was just a once in a lifetime incident." In 2010, on the 40th anniversary of that devastating fire, Pesqueira and his wife, Elsa, produced a documentary called, "Hot Pion: The Pioneer Fire Documentary."

Since that time, Pesqueira says things have changed dramatically, and for the better, "now we have health and safety officers and we have better equipment. We have better fire trucks, enclosed cabs, and it's really developed into something a lot safer. Not only for the firefighters but for the community because if the firefighters get injured they can't arrive at the scene."

As Pesqueira reflects on his long and successful career, he says it's been an honor serving his hometown, "it has been an honor and especially representing Hispanic minorities. I've always kept that in the back of my mind that I wanted to be a good role model for the younger Hispanic community and we talk about diversity, also the women. I really support women in the fire service."

Although Pesqueira will be hanging up his fire uniform there's no slowing down in his retirement years. He says he will continue to volunteer with the Regional Transportation Authority's Citizen's Accountability for Regional Transportation Committee. He will also continue to serve as the Arizona Chapter Director for the National Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

While that might not sound like much a retirement for some, Pesqueira is quick to say with a big smile that he's going to become a professional grandfather and learn how to surf in San Diego where he and his wife have a condo.

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