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Madison fire chief to retire next year

Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis (Source: Madison Fire Dept.)
Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis (Source: Madison Fire Dept.)(NBC15)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:05 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Madison Fire Chief Steven A. Davis announced Tuesday that he plans to step down next year, after more than a decade on the job and 32 years with the department. In post on the Madison Fire Dept., Davis described its release as a “bittersweet day” for him. His last day will be April 1, 2022.

“I made a promise to the organization, to the community, to my family, and to myself that I would serve to the best of my ability and with honor and dignity for 10 years,” Davis wrote. “My time has come and I feel like I have fulfilled that promise.”

Davis listed some of the accomplishments he enjoyed since taking the reins from former Chief Debra Amesqua in January 2012, including the addition of two new fire stations. He also noted that the fire department expanded its service area to include Blooming Grove, Town of Burke, and Town of Madison.

“To the members of the Madison Fire Department, all I can say is, “Wow!” The last 32 years went by in the blink of an eye. I have truly enjoyed working with each and every one of you. I am simply awestruck by the dedication that all of you display each and every day,” he wrote.

Shortly after Davis’ message was published, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released a statement praising his role with the city, calling the fire chief a “trusted advisor and respected member of the City’s management team.”

“I will miss his levelheaded leadership, his dedication to residents, and his common-sense approach to difficult problems,” she said, adding that Davis’ commitment to equality has made the department “a national leader in the employment of women firefighters.” She went on to highlight Davis leadership over the past year as the community battled the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Davis’ statement included some of the high points, he also took a moment to recognize the two firefighters who died during his time as chief, Firefighter/Paramedic Richard Garner and Apparatus Engineer Todd Mahoney. Garner’s death was the first line-of-duty death for the department in decades, Davis recalled.

Davis concluded the letter thanking members of the community for their support and “heartfelt expressions of gratitude,” the “long and substantial” list of people to whom he feels indebted, and to the city itself “for allowing me to serve you for the last 32 years!”

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