City of Mentor Bids Deputy Fire Chief Tom Talcott Farewell
Talcott will retire Friday after 34 years with the Mentor Fire Department
Mentor Fire Chief Richard Harvey summed up retiring Deputy Fire Chief Tom Talcott's importance in three words.
"He shows up."
"Tom shows up and he does it whenever you need him to," Harvey said during an informal party Monday afternoon in the basement of Mentor Fire Station 5. "He shows up at 3 a.m. He shows up at 9 p.m. Nothing ever happens on a weekday during daylight. It happens in the middle of the night or on Christmas. But Tom always shows up."
Talcott will retire Friday after 34 years with the Mentor Fire Department. When he started with the department, it had only six paramedics; and the paramedics could go off work only when a new paramedic came on.
Former Mentor Fire Chief John Preuer joked that he thought he would only have five paramedics after Talcott had to work 24-hour shifts on both Christmas Eve and Christmas one year.
"We really appreciated your dedication and commitment, helping the department grow," Preuer said before hugging Talcott.
Mentor City Manager Ken Filipiak teased Talcott by saying that he was only 11 years old when Talcott started working for the city. Then he added that Talcott could be summed up in two words, "Consummate professional."
"(He is) absolutely the most dedicated person to the fire service you can imagine," Filipiak said.
Harvey said Talcott was instrumental in starting paramedic and hazardous materials teams in the Mentor Fire Department. He also wrote the specifications for all the department's fire trucks and tankers.
"He's done it all here and he's done an incredible job of it," Harvey said.
Talcott thanked everyone for coming to his farewell party, especially his wife, Linda Talcott, who he said tolerated almost four decades of a firefighter's erratic schedule.
"It's been a pleasure and a privilege," he told his friends and coworkers. "I think the future looks pretty good. You've got good people up and down the city in different departments."
Though retired in Mentor, Talcott will continue to work part time as an assistant chief for the Willoughby Hills Fire Department. He also runs a consulting business with the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association.
He concluded by thanking the public who paid his salary with their taxes for 34 years.
"I need to say thanks to the community for taking care of us," Talcott said. "Mentor does a good job of taking care of its public services and we try to be worth every penny that they invest in us."
Watch the video attached to this story to see Talcott thank his wife for all of her support.