The emergency management profession is a lot like bouillabaisse: there are lots of different kinds of seafood...but all seafood, no beef, pork, or poultry. Two good dudes in my world have announced their intention of retiring this summer. Both are retired military, one a former Army officer, the other a former Air Force senior NCO. One of the guys was a first responder medic type, teacher, and public safety administrator before winding up working as a full-time emergency management supervisor. My other colleague joined a county as a planner right out of the Army. Each served in Vietnam. Aside from similar Gaelic roots, and a tendency to be, shall we say, outspoken, each of these dudes have very different interests and talents. Yet they belong to the same species: Disasterus Responderis Unselfishus. When the guacamole hits the fan, they are among the first through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) door, working their butts off to bring order out of chaos. These guys praise common sense, and abhor stupid bureaucracy. (Okay, is there such a thing as smart bureaucracy? Naw, didn't think so.) As a result of their service in the emergency management field, their respective jurisdictions have been better prepared, the organizations have responded more effectively, and their fellow citizens have benefitted greatly from each dude's collective contributions.
I'm going to miss working with those guys. Our shared profession is taking a hit, but I'm happy that they are going to reap the benefits of their hard work, hopefully with a golf club or hockey stick in their hand while we former colleagues have our rear ends planted in the less than comfortable office chairs for our 12-hour EOC shifts.
Thanks, dudes! Happy Retirement!