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WFD's Capt. Yarmac retires after 33 years of service

Date: 1/5/2009

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM Retiring Wilbraham Fire Department Captain of Fire Prevention Nick Yarmac credits his father-in-law as the one who got him interested in fire fighting.

"I had just got married and my father-in-law, Chief Ed Borwick of Chicopee, told me it was a great line of work," Yarmac told Reminder Publications the day of his retirement party at WFD's Fire Headquarters on Boston Road. He joined the Greenfield call department and his career path was set from there.

"It was at that first fire," he said. "I was hooked. It was amazing. You get an amazing feeling of accomplishment."

Yarmac joined the WFD in 1976 as a full-time fire fighter. He became the fire prevention officer 10 years ago and soon after that, became a captain.

As he was packing up his personal belongings in his office on Jan. 2, he recollected some of his most vivid memories. He said a big oil fire in Ludlow really stood out that it was "the most spectacular fire." He also said the busiest night he had working for the WFD was the night Glendale Church was set ablaze. He raced from that church to a fatal accident on Boston Road to another church fire in Three Rivers.

"Anytime you lose somebody like that, it's a loss to the whole department," Fire Chief Fran Nothe said. "For me, it's like losing my right arm. I tend to dump a lot of stuff on him ... People with a lot of experience make good decisions."

Nothe described Yarmac as "a good egg."

"I think he'll miss this place, and I know we'll miss him," Nothe stated.

The fire chief said one of the current captains will be chosen to replace Yarmac, and he'll look to fill that captain's vacancy after that.

Yarmac served 33 years with the WFD and he said he knew it was time to retire. "[Fire fighting] is a young man's occupation," he said.

He won't settle into the life of an old man just yet, however.

"I've got some irons in the fire," he said.