NORTH OGDEN -- The days are counting down for North View Fire District Chief Lynn Froerer. In fact, he nearly can count them on one hand, which is more than he can say for the memories he'll be leaving behind.
Froerer is retiring Saturday after nearly 40 years as a firefighter, the last 20 of which have been spent as North View's chief. He succeeded the department's first fire chief, Terrel Call, in 1993.
"It's bittersweet, in a way," he said. "You look back at the accomplishments with pride. But I leave knowing (the department) is going to be OK. I've taken it as far as I can take it."
One of the accomplishments Froerer is most proud of is the formation of the fire district itself. Froerer said the roots of the district date back to the 1960s, when North Ogden and Pleasant View formed a volunteer fire department, with Harrisville joining in the '80s. In 2004, a fire agency was formed among the three cities, but it wasn't until the end of the decade that the public voted in favor of formation of the fire district.
Froerer said the public's willingness to vote for a fire district funded by taxes shows how important firefighters have been to the communities in North View's jurisdiction. And Froerer believes the taxpayers have been rewarded. Since the formation of the fire district, more personnel have been added and new fire trucks have been purchased, among other improvements, which has allowed the district to more effectively serve its communities.
That the last few years of his tenure oversaw those improvements is a source of pride.
"It's a job where you can get instant gratification. You can make a difference with somebody," Froerer said, adding that what he'll miss most about the job are the relationships he formed with people. "You can ease someone's burden a little bit. It's not a job you get rich at, but it's satisfying."
After the final days of his tenure have passed, Froerer will be moving to St. George, where he will spend his days traveling and visiting with family. And he can do that, he said, knowing the fire district will be in good hands, as Deputy Chief David Wade will be taking over.
"It should be a pretty seamless transition," he said. Wade has been deputy chief for about a decade. "He's a great leader. His strong point is interaction with people. He's better at that than I ever was."