ED CONSENTINO talks about his time serving on the Alton Fire Department with his jacket and helmet on display behind him. Tim Croes. (click for larger version)
May 28, 2013ALTON — Friends, family and members of the Alton Fire Department gathered on Wednesday, May 22, at the Central Fire Station to celebrate the retirement of Assistant Fire Chief Ed Consentino after serving the town for 30 years.
The many positions that Consentino held while serving the department included but weren't limited to the emergency management director, the deputy fire warden and EMT evaluator.
A slide show was displayed during the evening that displayed the many fires that he was involved in, including the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center and Alton Bay Pavilion fires.
Retired Chief Russ Sample talked about the time he spent working together and the importance he played in town.
"The whole community is better by you being a member of this group of brothers and sisters," Sample said.
Members of surrounding fire departments from Gilmanton, Laconia and other towns visited during the evening to show their gratitude for his years of service.
Chief Scott Williams talked about working together with Consentino.
"He has been really amazing," Williams said. "He has been a good right hand man while I have been doing this."
Williams presented Consentino with a show box displaying his badge, a certificate of appreciation from the fire department, a letter from Governor Maggie Hassan, an American flag that was been flown over the Capitol from Senator Kelly Ayotte and an axe for his years of service in the department.
Consentino said that it has been a privilege and honor to an honor to serve the department and joked about staying late for meetings and talking with his fellow firefighters for hours upon hours. And he talked about the things he won't miss.
"I won't miss those 2 a.m. calls during the winter, hiking Mount Major or time on the fire rescue boat," Consentino said.
He thanked Williams for supporting him, Mary Jane Dascoli for proofreading his reports and the other captains and officers that he served with on the department.
He recalled back to the fall and hearing a voice inside his head saying it was time to retire. This past winter Consentino was involved in an accident with a snowboard at Gunstock that delayed his retirement by a little bit.
Consentiono appreciated everyone coming out and is looking forward to moving south with his wife, Christine.
Captain Mike Viscariello came up and told a few funny stories about working with Consentino on the fire rescue boat and the time he crashed into a tree.
"It's been a pleasure working with you. Enjoy the rest of your time," Viscariello said.
Christine Consentino talked about the being a fireman's wife and was worried that retirement would never happen.
"It's a very amazing thing to be. You worry a lot," Christine Consentino said.
She talked about his accident at Gunstock and about Williams driving her to the hospital that night.
Williams closed the evening saying, "You are going to be hard, hard, hard-pressed to replace."
Tim Croes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126