Sunday morning at 8 am, during crew change at the Penn Valley Fire Department, one last dispatch message went out from the Grass Valley Emergency Command Center for Penn Valley Fire Chief Gene Vander Plaats, wishing him well as he officially retires from 42 years in fire service…the last 10years at Penn Valley.
In an earlier interview Chief Vander Plaats says it all began for him in Rippon in 1972.
Click here to listen to Chief Gene Vander Plaats
Penn Valley Fire Protection District hired Gene as their Fire Chief in June 2004. He quickly earned recognition for his ability to deal with many challenges during fiscal crisis. He developed ways to provide uncompromised service to the citizens of Penn Valley Fire Protection District despite limited and dwindling resources – an accomplishment he proudly attributes to the efforts of the men and women under his command.
That was true for his years at Penn Valley first District where 65-75 percent of calls for service are medical emergencies.
the radio dispatch honoring Chief Gene Vander Plaats concluded with the words…….. Congratulations Chief – we wish you well in your retirement.