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Former chief leaves dept. after 35 years
Kent Anderson Leaving fire department
NEW GLARUS - Kent Anderson spent the past 35 years answering the call of duty.

Since 1975, Anderson has been a New Glarus firefighter. His last day with the department was Monday.

He served as the department's part-time chief from 1988 to 2000, and concluded his career with the department as the fire inspector, which means he tried to determine how a fire started. Anderson started his career with the department as a volunteer firefighter.

Being on the fire department was always exciting, he said. Whenever the siren went off to alert the volunteers of a fire, Anderson was ready to respond. It's one of the things he's going to miss.

"I'll probably wish I was heading out when I hear the alarm," he said.

It's an adrenaline rush whenever the whistle blows, he said. It's exciting to be on the truck, the lights flashing, going to an emergency.

It's one of the reasons so many people want to join their local fire departments, but it's not the only reason.

"People join because they want to help their community," he said. "There are more volunteer departments than full-time departments in the United States."

Anderson joined the fire department and the New Glarus Emergency Medical Services after a few people encouraged him to join. He's been on hundreds of calls over the course of his career.

He's ready to step aside to let someone else take his place.

"I guess you just know when it's time to step down," he said.

He's also been involved with the county government, serving on the veterans committee and the local emergency planning committee.

He'll stay on the committees, which will allow him to continue his community involvement.