Du Quoin Fire Chief to retire - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Du Quoin Fire Chief to retire

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DU QUOIN — For the first time since 1983 Du Quoin Fire Chief Bob Shaw won’t be suiting up when a call comes in.

“I think a person can just take so much of that before it just is enough,” Shaw said. ”I think 35 years is enough.”

At a council meeting Monday night, Shaw announced that on April 6, he’ll be hanging up his helmet for the final time  after nearly 35 years with the department.

“I’ve seen about all the tragedy I care to see and I’m ready to move on,” Shaw said.

For Shaw looking back, his time in charge has been bittersweet.

“I’ve had my very best days here and my very worst day,” he said. “When my son was killed on the job.”

In 2011 Shaw’s son Corey was killed while battling a fire in Pinckneyville.

He says the same people who helped him get through the loss, are what he’ll miss most in retirement.

“My guys,” he said. “That camaraderie that you build and you have, that’s what I’ll miss.”

Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi credits Shaw’s dedication and determination for much of the department’s growth and success.

“He’s going to go down just as a great fire chief that took care of his men and made sure that the citizens of Du Quoin were taken care of and they were protected and they were safe,” Alongi said

As for Shaw, he’ll stay busy in retirement.

He plans to continue training other firefighters to keep them as safe as possible  and has one task he’s looking forward to the most.

“I will be able to have my granddaughter this summer, and be grandpa,” Shaw said.

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