POTTSVILLE -- Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March will be retiring after 42 years on the job,
One of the first things Todd March says about his 42 years as Pottsville's fire chief is how fast time has gone by.
"I can't believe it's that long, but yeah, it's been a long time," March said. "Time flies."
March will turn 73 next month. He started as chief at 31. Before that, he was a volunteer at the Yorkville Hose Company, but he said now is the time to call it quits.
"It's just to the point in my life where I wanted to start taking it easy and it's time to get some new blood in here," March said.
Chief March said his replacement will face a few challenges. He said one of the biggest is the dwindling numbers at volunteer fire departments.
"Years ago, when I first started, we had enough people probably to stomp out the fire when we responded to a call," March said. "Today, it's a lot different. We're always calling for mutual aid right away because we don't have the manpower."
Chief March looks back on the highs and lows of his career. He said one of the best parts was keeping up with the advancements in firefighting technology.
His low points were calls where lives were lost. He said the worst fire he's seen happened on Mother's Day of 2013 when two adults and four children were killed.
"Fire deaths are hard to deal with, to begin with, that's the worse part of the job, I think is fire deaths, especially if it's children," March said.
Longtime colleagues said they admire March for his ability to withstand the amount of tragedy that comes along with the job.
"He's been able to continue to do his job professionally and not let that part of it get to him," Pottsville City Administrator Todd Palamar said.
As his time as chief winds down, Chief March looks forward to the new adventures that await him in retirement.
"It's been an honor and a real privilege to serve the city of Pottsville for all these years and I just hope I can get used to just taking it easy in retirement," March said.
Chief March will retire at the end of the year. The search for a new chief is underway. The city hopes to name a replacement before Chief March's last day.