Capt. Tom DeLisle will be honored for 40 years of service to the citizens of Snohomish County Fire District 1 at a retirement ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Martha Lake Fire Station 21, 16819 13th Ave. W, Lynnwood.
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Parking will be available in the north and east lots of the neighboring Christ the Rock Church.
DeLisle, a Lynnwood resident, is a native of south Snohomish County. He met his wife, Melinda, when they were both students Edmonds High School. After DeLisle graduated in 1969, he worked a variety of jobs before he settled into his fire service career in 1974.
“I saw a newspaper ad for volunteer firefighters. I didn’t know much about it, but thought it sounded interesting,” DeLisle said. “I immediately fell in love with it.”
After serving six months as a volunteer for Fire District 1, DeLisle was hired as a full-time. His first assignment as a firefighter was at the Esperance Fire Station in the Edmonds area. DeLisle is retiring as a captain assigned to Silver Firs Fire Station 13, but during his career he has worked at 11 of the 12 stations in Fire District 1’s service area, which includes unincorporated south Snohomish County, Brier, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace. “I’ve worked in them all except Station 17 (in downtown Edmonds),” DeLisle said.
Much has changed over the 40 years DeLisle has been with Fire District 1. “When I started, I rode outside hanging on the tailboard of the engine and now we have fully enclosed cabs with seat belt regulations,” he said.
Emergency medical service has also evolved from the early days of “scoop-and-run aid cars to now having a paramedic on every rig” in the district to provide the most advanced lifesaving care, DeLisle said. “It’s huge progress.”
Over the years, DeLisle served on the advisory committee for the Edmonds School District Fire Science program and the Fire District 1 Safety Committee and worked on training projects. “But most of my time was spent responding to calls,” he said.
DeLisle said his plans for retirement include working on projects around the house and spending time with family. All his children and grandchildren live in the area.