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Watertown firefighter of 31 years plans retirement

Posted by boston.com  December 5, 2013 10:57 AM

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After 31 years with the Watertown Fire Department and rescue team, Mike Pepe plans to retire next year with well over 10,000 rescue calls to his name.

“I think it is about time I get out…the fires are the same, the medical calls are the same, but as I get older, the guys get younger,” said Pepe, who has spent 20 years with the rescue team.

“My dad and my uncle were firefighters and so I started to work with them. I love this job. I get a different call every day,” said Pepe. He first worked with the rescue team that responds to medical calls and is regularly the busiest part of the fire department. Then, Pepe became the ladder truck driver at Station 2 on Mount Auburn Street.

"He is a good firefighter and a good guy. I have known him for 20 years and we are going to miss him when he goes," said Captain John Russo of the Watertown Fire Department.

By late next year, Pepe will be able to retire on his 58th birthday. “Half of the guys say I am never going to retire. Now I think I have to retire just to prove them wrong,” Pepe joked. “I am going to miss the guys for sure, but they guarantee that I can catch up and sit in and that they will leave the door open for me.”

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and the Boston University News Service.

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