Homer Fire Chief Bob Painter is retiring after more than 26 years of service in Homer. He said he’s proud of his achievements.
“I think the biggest accomplishment, and I don’t want to jinx anything is that during my time with the department, especially since I’ve been chief since 2000, is we’ve not had a serious injury and definitely haven’t had a firefighter fatality in the line of duty,” he said.
In total, Painter has spent nearly 40 years as a first responder.
“I'd like the opportunity to turn off the pager or not be on call in town,” he said. “And do something that is still in the business of training new personnel for the positions and for the field but not have as much responsibility for the community.”
Painter will be returning to Oklahoma where he’s originally from. He accepted a position with Tulsa Community College as the director of the E.M.S. and paramedic training program. He’ll start work in February and said the transition is bittersweet.
“I'm going to miss everybody," he said. "I'm going to miss Homer for sure. “You know it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen. The community is great, I had a lot of support from the city administration over the years and had a lot of support from the membership. But I’ve got a lot to look forward to."
Painter said he is working with the assistant fire chief and the city manager on a transition plan. His last day is Jan. 26.