Having a long-standing career is admirable, but retiring from a job after nearly half of your life is a milestone. Middlesboro Fire Department Chief Tim Wilder is retiring after 32 years of service.
Wilder got his start with the city in 1980 for the Middlesboro Police Department. His ultimate goal at the time was to work in law enforcement.
Before he left for college at Eastern Kentucky University, he put his application in for a position as a dispatcher and received an offer for that position during Thanksgiving break of that year. He accepted and continued his position as a dispatcher for three and a half years.
“I had always wanted to be a state trooper when I was growing up, but the way I look at it God had a different plan for me and I’m okay with that,” said Wilder.
After that, he was offered a position with the MFD which he accepted. He has been with the department ever since.
Wilder has worked his way through the ranks at MFD which allows him to appreciate what the other members of the department deal with on a daily basis.
“I don’t really have too many memorable times because you’re always responding to somebody’s misfortune. Somebody’s bad luck isn’t very memorable,” said Wilder. “I just hope that during my time as chief, I’ve done something to make somebody’s life a little better, a little easier.”
During his time as chief Wilder has lowered the Insurance Service Office rating of the city by two points, giving a better rating to the city and department for fire protection. He also spearheaded the ambulance service transition from basic life support to advanced life support, giving additional training and certification for the department.
As for retirement plans, Wilder will be spending his time traveling with his wife Lynn of seven years, going antiquing and working on his classic car — a 1930 Ford Model A.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.