Wilmington Fire Chief Michael Donohue To Retire

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today announced, with much regret, the retirement from public service of Fire Chief Michael Donohue. Chief Donohue, who has been contemplating retirement for some time, has decided to bring his nearly 40-year career with the City Fire Department to an end tomorrow, Friday, May 7. Donohue was appointed Chief of the Fire Department—a position previously held by his late father, Jerome M. Donohue by Mayor Purzycki on January 3, 2017. An announcement will be made shortly regarding new leadership for the department.

Michael Donohue joined the Wilmington Fire Department on November 7, 1983. During his nearly four-decade career with the Department, he was promoted twice—to Lieutenant in 1994, then Captain in 1999—before being appointed Battalion Chief in 2001 and then to Deputy Chief of Operations on January 8, 2013. Chief Donohue’s numerous commendations include 11 Unit Awards, 4 Individual Valor Awards, a Public Safety Award and the Medal of Honor.

“Chief Donohue is finishing a remarkable and distinguished career of service to the people of Wilmington and we owe him much thanks and appreciation,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Michael Donohue has been a decorated member of our fire department for decades and I am grateful for his commitment to the goals of my Administration over the past four years, which include transforming the department, making it stronger, more efficient, and more diverse. Chief Donohue was successful on all fronts and we wish him well in his retirement. I also commend and thank the Chief’s very supportive and dedicated family, many of whom were or are currently in positions of public service.”

The Mayor said there have been many important accomplishments under Chief Donohue’s leadership, including the elimination of the rolling bypass; renovation of several fire stations and outfitting all station houses with new physical fitness equipment; boosting staffing levels with three Academy classes of new recruits; providing new gear, equipment, and apparatus, including new self-contained breathing apparatus, new turn out gear, updated hoses and nozzles, and new radios for the entire department as well as two new engines and a ladder truck. Other achievements include implementation of a new fire ground accountability system, the NARCAN program, the Carcinogenic Exposure Reduction Program, and an Officer’s Development Program; implementation of a state-of-the-art inventory tracking system; implementation of Operation Sound the Alarm smoke detector delivery program, which resulted in thousands of smoke detectors/CO detectors being placed in homes throughout the City; the revamping and updating of all Standard Operating Procedures; and increased commercial fire inspections.

The City of Wilmington thanks Chief Michael Donohue and wishes him well as he enjoys retirement and spends more time with his family, including his wife Carrie and their six children, Michelle, Michael, Erin, Buddy, Justin, and Sergeant Kimberly Pfaff of the Wilmington Police Department, as well as their grandchildren.

The Mayor said the Chief should be very proud of his career and his accomplishments for the people of Wilmington as the City is very proud of him.

Source: Mayor’s Office

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