Retiring Commissioners Served More Than 60 Years
Between them, retiring Camano Island Fire & Rescue (CIFR) Commissioners Loren Murray and Mike Hamel have 62 years of service with the Fire District.
“The amount of dedication you gave and the love and concern for the community, I think that’s incredible,” said fellow commissioner Don Timmerman at a retirement party.
Commissioners Murray and Hamel were honored at a recent board meeting, treated to cake, and given plaques and a “free lifetime membership to Camano Island Fire and Rescue” by the firefighter’s union.
“You have always treated us with respect and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate it,” Ryan White, the union president, said to both outgoing commissioners. White said the collaboration between the union, the board, and the community is a credit to Hamel and Murray, and “it is fantastic.”
White spoke just before the radios of the on-duty firefighters at the Madrona Fire Station blared, and the firefighters responded to a call for medical aid. Murray and Hamel both spent decades jumping from their seats and leaving their homes to follow their fellow firefighters into burning buildings, helping people get out of crushed cars, and responding to calls for help.
Hamel has spent the past 18 years as a Commissioner, and served before that both as a volunteer firefighter and Chief of the District. Just over 20 years ago the District was split into three separate fire districts, one of which Hamel presided over as Chief.
Murray served as a volunteer for 14 years until 1998. The first career firefighters were hired in 1999, the same year Murray became a commissioner of the District. He is also a firefighter for the City of Seattle, where he’s been for 33 years.
“The only bad part about this,” said Murray, “is it’s the fastest years I have ever had. Only yesterday I went down to the station to volunteer as the new kid on the block.”
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