Springfield fire chief hangs up his helmet for the last time

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- A local firefighter is putting the flame out on his career.

Chief Barry Helmerichs announced his decision to retire on Tuesday.

Helmerichs says this job means everything to him.

"The time is just right," Helmerichs said, "We've accomplished a lot, and I'm pleased with were we are at."

The chief has been a Springfield firefighter since 1991. 

Helmerichs says being with his crew is what made the job.

"Fire service is different than other jobs," Helmerichs says. "This is more than a job, it's more than a career."

His crew says he will be missed deeply, and his achievements will leave a lasting impact. 

"We achieved what we set out to do, which was to get to Class One," Helmerichs says. "I think we've accomplished a lot, and I feel complete that we are at that stage here."

The chief's last day in office will be April 6, 2018.

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