Dalton Fire Chief RetiresBy Paul Vallone
12:00AM / Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Dalton - On Sunday, June 25, at 1 p.m., the Wahconah Country Club hosted the members of the Dalton Firemen's Association. The association held a surprise open house in honor of retiring Fire Chief Hubert "Teddy" White. The event included family members, fire chiefs from Berkshire and Hampton counties, along with state and town officials.
White is a 1964 graduate of Wahconah regional High School. White spent 31 years as a full-time researcher and developer for Crane & Co.. It was there, in fact, where his co-workers encouraged him to volunteer for the fire department.
He joined the Dalton Fire Department in 1977. He made his way up the officers' ladder, from lieutenant to captain. In 1996, White became fire chief. In addition to his role as chief, he has also taught the Berkshire County Fire Recruit classes, led training sessions and drills, and was a trainer in Dalton for 10 years.
At the event, there was a special toast in rememberance of White's late wife, Mary Ellen White.
One of the first speakers was Region 5 Massachusetts Call-Volunteer Firefighters Association Vice-president Paul Vallone. He presented White with a Helmet Award for White's 29 years of service. Ornage Fire Department Chief Dennis Annear presented White with plaques from the New England Fire Chiefs Association and Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts.
Amherst Fire Department Chief Keith Hoyle, who is also the president of the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association, presented White with a pin and a "Silver Trumpet" for his retirement.
Great Barrington Fire Chief Harry Jennings, also the president of the Berkshire County Fire Chiefs Association, presented White with plaques from the berkshire County Fire Chiefs Association and the Great Barrington Fire Department in honor of White's years of service.
Additional speakers included Chief John Bartels of the Dalton Police Association, Dave Beaudin of the State Fire Marshal's Office, state Rep. Dennis Guyer, Dalton Selectman Tom Szepaniak, who is also with the Office of the State Auditor, Chief Steve Duffy of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and Dalton Firemens Association President Scott Casella.
On Friday, June 23, White officially retired and Rick Karasen became the new fire chief. Christopher Cachat will step into the role of assistant chief.
A moving moment occurred when Chief Kardasen and retired Assistant Chief Dick Olsted presented White with two beautiful white fire chief helmets.
Paul Vallone is a member of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department and a correspondent for the 1st Responder News Internet web site. A version of this article first appeared at the organization's www.1stresponders.com site. Photos may be viewed at http://members.tripod.com/fire-photo-service/index.html and scrolling to "Special Events" and then click on link for Teddy White's retirement party.