Fire chief steps down

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CASSOPOLIS – Bill Fitzgerald has been a member of the Cassopolis Fire Department for 44 years.  He is stepping down as Cassopolis Fire Chief after 28 years of total dedication.  He continues to serve the department as Captain, and share his expertise and experience with the department.  He continues to be a positive role model for all fire fighters.

Bill has kept himself and the department current on cutting edge fire fighting and extrication techniques. He believes in live training that will challenge the fire fighters to be the best they could be under intense circumstances. Through the generous donations of local homes, junkyards and repair centers, many homes and cars of all makes and models have been destroyed in training exercises to make the fire fighters better under realistic situations.

Fire Fighter Safety has been a priority for the department and in all situations involving fire fighters under the leadership of Chief Fitzgerald. Accountability, safety and fire scene organization remain top priorities for the department. Monthly inspections of apparatus and equipment provide ready-to-use equipment for whatever emergency may arise.

Bill has returned to many fire scenes to determine cause and origin of fires. He has attended many fire fighting and investigations trainings through the years. He committed himself to being a lifelong learner by serving as an understudy with various State Fire Inspectors at fire scenes.

Fire Prevention Safety Programs have also sparked Bill’s interest over the years.
Bill helped develop Fire Prevention Safety Programs that were provided by the department to schools, organizations and churches that requested help educating people about fire safety. Fire safety information, smoke detectors, and evacuation plans have been provided free of charge by the department for many years.  replanning of businesses and public facilities under Bill’s leadership have made fire fighters and community members better prepared for safety tips, evacuation and strategies for extinguishing.

Bill has also worked closely with the Cass County Fair Board and county fire departments each summer to provide seamless fire coverage for the entire fair week. This includes covering grandstand events that have potential fire risks.  Bill has spent many nights at the Cass County Fair making sure all participants were safe.

The many volunteer firefighters from over the years would like to thank Bill for the countless hours of dedication to the Cassopolis Fire Department and community.