WATSONVILLE—It was 37 years ago that Larry Chin became a reserve firefighter with Watsonville Fire Department, inspired by television shows such as “Emergency!” and the glamor of the profession.
He joined the department eight years later. On Wednesday morning, he signed off from his final shift after 29 years on the job.
WFD held a farewell party for him on Tuesday, which was interrupted briefly when his crew was dispatched to a medical call.
When he returned, it was to a roomful of colleagues and friends.
“He’s funny, always cracking jokes,” said Rosa Meyer, who works as an administrative analyst at the department.
Meyer added that Chin was known for his cooking.
WFD Chief Rudy Lopez had high praise for Chin, who retires as an engineer.
“Larry exemplifies dedication to his job,” Lopez said. “He has been a model engineer who always took his job seriously. It has been a pleasure working with him.”
Chin simply said “it’s time” when asked what prompted his decision to retire.
He said the move will leave him extra time to continue volunteering with organizations such as Toys for Tots.
“It’s a good career,” he said. “It was fun.”
Fire Capt. Matt McCollum said he has been honored to work with Chin over the years.
“Larry has always been involved with his community as well as the department with things like the Fire Muster, Toys for Tots, training and being a full-time firefighter,” he said. “He always has a good attitude and he’s a team player. Everybody gets along with Larry. He’s just a positive person.”