APTOS — His boots and helmet are now a thing of the past. Aptos/La Selva firefighter Rick Molinar worked his final 24-hour shift Wednesday and into Thursday following a 33-year career.

“Sure, there’s some anxiety about leaving all this, but it’s been great; this has been my second family,” Molinar said. “There’s nothing like the camaraderie that we share here at the fire department. I’ve worked around some great people.”

Molinar said that after serving two years as a firefighter in Hayward he moved to Aptos/La Selva Fire where he has been ever since. He served several different roles, including paramedic/firefighter and surf and rescue (12 years).

“This has been the best career I could have asked for,” he said. “To be able to live in the same community I work in and be able to help this community — it has been an honor.”

As a tradition with the local 9-1-1 Center a dispatcher read a final notice over the radio that was heard by all local fire departments: “This is the final alarm for Aptos/La Selva firefighter Rick Molinar.”

The statement included:

“His dedication to his firefighting mission, his commitment to his community and providing best in public safety will not be forgotten.”

“Rick, we thank you for sharing your career with us and your commitment to excellence. You will always be a part of our public safety community. Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement.”

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