Wally Jester remembers coming home one early morning in 1969 and finding his family’s home on fire.
“I knew firsthand what is was like to have nothing left but what you are wearing,” he said.
He said he joined the Lewis and Clark County Volunteer Fire Department in 1995. And shortly after that he was made chief, a position he has held for 27 1/2 years.
And the 71-year-old Jester said it is now time to retire.
“There comes a time when the body says ‘Hey!’” he said, adding “You know that list the wife has? You have to get busy.”
He said he has met with the fire council and turned over almost everything.
But not quite everything.
He said he will continue to take care of the new Witlatch Fire Station in Unionville, performing truck duty and monitoring the use of the building. He said this station was a dream of his for a long time.
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He said the areas throughout the 3,498-square-mile county that are not in a fee service district were under his jurisdiction, and he often responded to fires as far away as Augusta