WATSONVILLE — Watsonville Fire Department’s Division Chief Rob Ryan ended his career Dec. 28 after 41 years.
A going away party and celebration of his service to the community was held Dec. 28 at Fire Station II on Airport Boulevard, with a large showing of fellow firefighters, Fire Chief Pablo Barreto, retired firefighters, Watsonville Police, and, of course, an expanded contingency of family and friends.
“I’m blessed, what else can I say,” Ryan told the gathering. “There have been some bumps along the road. For me it’s the workers that make this job. These 41 years have gone by so fast.”
Barreto said Ryan, who helped trained him, made him a better leader.
“He was the first captain I worked for and Rob trained me to serve,” he said. “He gave such a unique impact to this community with his dedication to service. He was committed 24/7 to the community and was always community-based.”
Ryan’s brother, Fire Capt. Matt Ryan was on hand to moderate the event.
In a special message for Netcom at the 9-1-1 Center in Santa Cruz County, known as a call down, a dispatcher stated over the air: “Today, Division Chief Rob Ryan is retiring after 41 years of total service to the City of Watsonville. He started his career as a reserve firefighter and worked the last 35 years in full-time capacity. Chief Ryan, on behalf of the men and women, the fire department, the community you have served and Netcom, we thank you for your exemplary service to the people of Watsonville and the Watsonville Fire Department. Your work family expresses best wishes to you for a fulfilling and well-deserved retirement.”