WOBURN - The city’s Fire Chief Steve Adgate will be retiring in November.
In recent days, Chief Adgate has informed the City Council’s Finance Committee, who are preparing the cit y’s FY2021 budget of his intentions.
He is retiring from a job that he thoroughly enjoys but was also somewhat predictable as he reaches the “magic 65” years old - a time the state law kicks in for retirement.
Adgate these days still has a full day, a full agenda every day and approaches every task with a high degree of enthusiasm.
“ I turn 65 in November and really have no choice,” he reflected yesterday at his office at the Fire Station Headquarters ( Station #1/Glennon Fire Station) in the South End. “There is a state law you have to retire at that age, you know.”
Adgate on a daily basis refuses, however, to slow down and is thrilled to be part of events like putting the new Engine 5 on line in West Woburn in recent days and is thrilled with the new fire station and headquarters on Main Street just before Route 128 (opposite Middlesex Canal Road).
In total, he points out, it’s been a long time - a time to total 40 years and 10 months. “And,” he beams, “it has all been great.”
Adgate is a lifetime Woburnite, having graduated with the WHS Class of 1973. His life then gets mapped out as he eyed the historic Woburn Fire Department and the camaraderie of its personnel. “I’ m finalizing it all now in the last 3 1/2 years which has been great.”
The big thing though, he enthuses, is to still be part of it all after retirement. “It’s such a major process and I want to be around if advice is needed,” he says. “ The new station will come in on time and will be a community asset.”
“In looking back already, I loved every minute of it,” he concluded about his firefighter and Fire Chief’s roles are concerned.
At budget hearings in June of 2017, Adgate was promoted to Fire Chief.
The promotion became effective on July 1, 2017 when Fire Chief Timothy Ring officially retired. Ring, who was promoted to chief in 2013, announced his retirement in February, kicking off the process to find his replacement.
Adgate has a career with the Fire Department spanning some 40-plus year.
He was appointed in February 1980 as a firefighter, was then promoted to Captain in 2007 and then as the first Deputy Chief of the Woburn Fire Department. Then, on July 1 of 2017, he was named Fire Chief by Mayor Scott Galvin.
Adgate said at several talks in recent years that morale has to take on a new meaning these days, as the days-of-old of just fighting brush fires and occasional building fires are over. “Technically, it has all gone 180 degrees since I started,” remarked Adgate in recent years at the Rotary Club luncheon he noted the learning process to serve the public is never ending these days. Also, add in the opioid problems, there gets to be even more difficulties to overcome in an always non-typical days work.
Also, he pointed out in recent years, there is a wider scope these days, as an eye must be kept on development on regional communities touching Woburn. “It all makes for a concern about the way we operate.” “It’s all really a huge issue.”