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Ceremony Held for ACFD Retirees

by ARLnow.com January 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm 4,106 12 Comments

The Arlington County Fire Department honored an unprecedented 16 retirees this morning.

The large number of nearly simultaneous retirements is the result of changes to Arlington County’s retirement health benefits that, according to a fire official, prompted some 200 county employees to retire at the same time.

The fire personnel honored this morning had a combined 477 years of experience. It’s a loss that’s being felt across the department, despite the recent addition of large new recruit classes.

“Never before have so many of our leaders and mentors transitioned into retirement at the same time,” a video honoring the retirees said. “We will continue to hold the traditions you have set forth.”

With 30 to 38 years of experience, some of today’s retirees count both the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon and the Air Florida Flight 90 crash among the major incidents they’ve responded to as Arlington firefighters.

“This group of people has contributed so much, they have left such a legacy, that the organization is extremely strong and will survive without them being here every day,” said Fire Chief James Schwartz. “Their spirit will remain, their contributions — what they have shared with us over the course of their career — will remain… Thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us and this county.”

More photos, after the jump.

  • Clarenhood

    Thank you all for your service!!!

  • Union101

    Thank you for your great service. But readers of the story are all wondering in the back of their heads what benefits you are gaining due to this retirement, versus a retirement last month or next month.

    I’m sure I’d make the same decision as well if in that circumstance – logical human nature.

    Just trying to figure out if the County is starting a new fiscal austerity program for future retirees and you retired before that impacted your retirement benefits? or did they wait to retire until the first of the year to get their foot into new retirement benefits that began this year?

    Just asking, not judging.

    • thecharlesriver

      Um, not really….just judging.

      Otherwise you would ask the question at the county building. Let’s call a spade a spade.

    • Flameout

      Amen, brother.

  • Arlington MDMA

    Awesome. Thank you for your service.
    Hope the next bunch is as impressive.

  • CrystalMikey

    Also would like to say thanks to their service to our little corner of Virginia!

  • Flameout

    And the cost of their pensions is…?

    • thecharlesriver

      You can ask, but it doesn’t really matter since you’ve already contracted their services for the last 20-something years. Next time ask beforehand.

      • Flameout

        I’m asking beforehand NOW, regarding new entrants.

        • thecharlesriver

          That will do a lot of good asking it on this forum.

        • ArlingtonWay

          If only all the details were somehow available in a publicly available way which could be easily accessed from ones own home. Sigh. Oh well. Oh wait. Maybe if you type Arlington County Retirement into Google, like I did (or like my six year old could) you would see that the county retirement system is explained in great detail on the countys web site. Imagine that. I would have though they would have just waited for people to ask for the information in the comments section of random blogs.

  • SeanO

    Congratulations to all and Thank You for your service. You will be missed…

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