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Funkstown fire chief to call it quits

December 13, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

FUNKSTOWN - After 14 years as the head of one of the busiest fire companies in Washington County, Funkstown Chief W. Kyd Dieterich will step down Jan. 3.

"It's really been an interesting experience. I will continue to be as involved as I can," he said.

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Dieterich, 47, said he doesn't have the time to devote to the position that it merits.

He also is a captain with the Hagerstown Fire Department and works full time as a manager with AllSafe Fire Trucks near Beaver Creek.

Dieterich was chief at Funkstown from 1981 to 1986 when he resigned for personal reasons. He became chief again in 1991.

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As Funkstown's chief Dieterich oversaw about 25 active firefighters with a call load of about 1,000 annually.

Dieterich said he has been able to go on about only 15 percent to 18 percent of the calls because of his work commitments.

"The chief should definitely be one of the top 10 responders," he said.

Dieterich said he has no regrets about vacating the position and will continue to volunteer with Funkstown as much as possible.

"I feel pretty good about it. There are some things I would do differently but I'm leaving for all the right reasons," he said.

Dieterich said he felt it was time for some new blood.

"It's time to change hats. I believe in giving new people the opportunity," he said.

The company held elections on Dec. 6 and Jon Gift was selected to succeed Dieterich as chief. He will be sworn in on Jan. 3.

"He's very capable," said Dieterich.

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