Looking back on a roughly 33-year firefighting career in West Hartford, Assistant Fire Chief Richard Winn said though he is retiring he’ll continue his work training firefighters.
“Training firefighters has always been a passion of mine,” Winn said in an interview Monday.
For nine years, Winn was West Hartford’s fire training captain, and outside of West Hartford he has trained thousands of firefighters through regional training programs in Litchfield County, he said.
Winn, 59, started as a volunteer firefighter for the Barkhamsted Fire District and joined West Hartford in June 1984, he said. After a brief promotion to driver in June 1988, he was promoted to lieutenant two months later.
In March 2003, Winn was promoted to training captain. In 2012, he was promoted to battalion chief and in 2014 to assistant chief.
Winn said the department is “busier now than we’ve ever been” and recalled days when he would sit in the fire station waiting for something to happen.
Winn said his retirement from the West Hartford Fire Department is “bittersweet” but he’ll be keeping himself involved in the fire service — continuing to serve on the Barkhamsted Fire District’s board of commissioners and directing the regional firefighting school in Litchfield. Additionally, Winn serves as the chair of Barkhamsted’s board of finance.