Arlington, VA

Arlington firefighters will be honoring an unprecedented number of retirees at a ceremony next week.

A retirement ceremony is being held on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 24 for about 20 Arlington County Fire Department retirees. The firefighters have all retired over the past month or so after 25 to 37 years of service, according to department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl.

“This is the largest number of retirees the ACFD has seen at one time and we want to honor them for their service,” Karl said.

Over the past 1-2 years the fire department has been in “heavy recruitment mode” as it anticipated the retirements. Fire Chief Jim Schwartz said in 2010 that the timing of at least some of the retirements was driven by changes to Arlington County’s retirement benefits. Older firefighters who might otherwise have stuck around for a bit longer were planning to retire by January 2012 in order to take advantage of better retirement health coverage.

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