TOWNSEND — Townsend fire and emergency medical personnel filled the Board of Selectmen’s chambers Tuesday night, in formal uniforms.
“I’m glad to see the turn out from all the fire, EMS personnel,” said interim fire Chief Donald Klein.
The room was filled with people to honor fire Captain David Balise.
“David Balise is a long time member of the Townsend Fire Department who just retired as captain. I thought it was only fitting that we brought him out tonight to honor that retirement and present him with his retirement badge,” said Klein.
Klein invited Balise and his wife, Linda, to come forward to receive the retirement badge.
Selectman Maureen Denig read a proclamation urging all citizens of Townsend to wish Balise a happy and prosperous retirement.
The proclamation highlighted Balise’s 30-year career that started in 1977 and lasted until January of this year.
He rose through the ranks of the fire department, served as duty officer number one, a member of the Harbor Fire Station Study Committee and contributed to the formation of many standard fire operation guidelines, read Denig.
Balise was given a standing ovation.
“Everybody knows that firefighters have a hazardous profession,” Klein said.
Klein said he was especially impressed by Balise’s dedication to the force and ability to juggle firefighting, a full-time job, family and educational courses.
“I think you’ve done a wonderful job over the years and I’m personally very happy to be here this evening,” said Klein.
Balise thanked everyone in a prepared speech. “I had to write this down,” said Balise. “It’s too emotional, I’d never remember it.”
“Thank you for your recognition of a milestone in my life. It is indeed an unexpected honor,” said Balise.
“During most of those 30 years I had the privilege of working alongside what I believe were some of the best firefighters in the state, located right here on the Townsend Fire Department,” said Balise.
“I am fortunate to have been blessed with a healthy, happy family, a good job, a nice home in a great community and many exceptional friends and neighbors,” said Balise.
Balise thanked his wife, Linda, and daughters Lisa and Wendy for becoming members of the women’s auxiliary and always being supportive.
Balise thanked the selectmen for their part in the honor bestowed upon him that evening.
“I think it’s us that are honored. Thank you,” said Selectman David Chenelle.