RETIREMENT ANNOUNCEMENT - FIREFIGHTER STEPHEN ALMEIDA
It is with great pride that we announce the retirement of Firefighter Stephen Almeidafrom the Fairhaven Fire Department after 41 years of service. Stephen started his career with the fire department as a call-firefighter joining the ranks in November of 1978. He served 9 years as a call firefighter before being appointed as a full-time firefighter on August 25, 1987, by the Board of Fire Engineers and then Fire Chief Donald Bernard. Stephen then served the Town of Fairhaven for the next 32 years as a full-time Firefighter/EMT.
Throughout that time Stephen assumed various responsibilities within the department and the firefighter’s union. Shortly after becoming full time he was elected to serve on the Fire Union’s Executive Board. In his 2nd year, he was elected Vice-President and in his 3rd year taking on the role of Union President of the Fairhaven Firefighters Association-Local 1555. He served the next 20 years in the capacity as Union President.
One of the biggest transitions came as the town converted the ambulance service from the Police Dept. over to the Fire Dept. with the creation of an Advanced Life Support ambulance service and the training of Fire Dept.based Paramedics. President Stephen worked with the Chief and the town administration for a smooth transition.
In addition to his Union role, Stephen took on the responsibility as an assistant in the Junior Fire Setters Program under the direction of Lt. Earl Faunce. Stephen credits his love and respect for the fire service due to his friend and mentor, Lt. Earl Faunce. “Earl" taught me the true traditions and comradery of the fire service”.
Stephen also assisted in the fire prevention program wearing the “Sparky the fire dog” costume and was the town’s Santa Claus for the Annual Town Hall Sing-a-long to the delight of small children as he arrived by a fire truck.
One of his other civic duties, over the years, was to coordinate the Annual Thanksgiving Day Football Game Rally & Bon Fire the night before the big game with Dartmouth High.
Stephen will finish his last shift on Friday - September 6th at 6 pm. He will have his last ride home to 5 Abbey Street in Fairhaven by Ladder 1 where he will be greeted by friends and family.
Stephen resides, with his wife of 37 years, Cheryl who he credits with having much patience, support, and understanding during his career in public safety. The Almeida’s have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
The Fairhaven Fire Department would like to extend our deepest gratitude for the dedicated service Firefighter Almeida has displayed throughout his 41-year career.