Nearly 41 years and thousands of calls later, Lancaster City Fire Deputy Chief David Amico is hanging up his helmet. He’s retiring on Thursday.
“A lot of emotions, a lot of feelings I wasn’t sure I was prepared to deal with I guess here. 40 years is two-thirds of my life,” said Deputy Chief David Amico with the Lancaster City Fire Department.
During Amico’s career he got to work alongside his father and father-in-law who were both firefighters.
Amico is one of only a handful of Lancaster Citybfirefighters to put in more than 40 years in the department’s nearly 140 year history.
“I still like my job. I still like helping the community, going out and doing stuff with the citizens. I like working with the people that I work with on the fire department here,” said Amico.
Amico retires from one of central Pennsylvania’s few fully career staffed departments. The fire chief says other than Lancaster, Harrisburg, York and Lebanon the rest of central PA relies on volunteer firefighters.
A recent legislative report is revealing a dwindling number of those firefighters amid funding needs and training challenges.
The number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania has dropped from 300,000 in the 1970s to only 38,000 today.
While Lancaster does not rely on volunteers they’re still struggling to find people to apply, especially local residents. This year the department is looking to local civic organizations to help with the recruitment process.
“We think it’s very important that our own internal community members are applying for these good paying jobs in public safety,” said Chief Scott Little with the Lancaster City Fire Department.
Amico will be recognized by Lancaster City Council Tuesday night for his nearly 41 years of service.