Holcomb announces retirement after 34 years of service

THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers Fire Chief Carl Holcomb announced Tuesday he will retire next month after 34 total years of fire service. Holcomb will officially leave his post on July 31.
“After 34 years of fire service, I have decided to leave my position at the City of Three Rivers Fire Department. I plan to retire from fire service,” Holcomb said. “It’s been a long and rewarding career. Ending my long career as the community’s fire chief, I have been blessed to work with the finest City Commission, City Administration and department staff members.
“I look forward to spending quality time with my family, friends and loved ones while splitting our time between Southwest Michigan and Northern Michigan. My wife Meg and I were embraced by this community, and we look forward to still serving the community in a different capacity in the upcoming future.”
The City of Three Rivers hired Holcomb as its fire chief in August of 2014. Prior to his time in Three Rivers, he worked for the Waterford Regional Fire department for the better part of 30 months.
Holcomb’s career as a firefighter began in Lake Orion in 1986. Three years later he was hired at White Lake Township Fire Department, and soon after that he joined the Pontiac Fire Department where he served for 23 years before stints with the Waterford and Three Rivers fire departments.
In an interview with the Commercial-News Tuesday Holcomb said he and his wife have had “a lot of heartfelt conversations” in recent weeks, and decided that they’re ready to “start the next chapter” of their lives. He said he and his wife recently purchased a vacation home in northern Michigan, where ideally he would like to spend four months of the year, and the other eight months in the Three Rivers area.
City Manager Joe Bippus confirmed Tuesday that Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Bloomfield will serve as acting fire chief following Holcomb’s retirement. Bippus said he wasn’t sure whether the city would simply appoint Bloomfield to the permanent position or open the position up and begin accepting applications from all interested candidates, Bloomfield included.
Holcomb said Bloomfield “possesses all of the tools” to be successful, and is not only an “outstanding” firefighter but an outstanding person as well.
Holcomb said he has accrued a lot of knowledge over the duration of his career, thanks in no small part to the plethora of training manuals he has accumulated over the last 34 years. But Holcomb said he’s finally ready to leave the fire service behind, including those manuals.
“I told Jeff, ‘I no longer need them, so I can either help some of the guys throw them in the dumpster or pass them onto you. Either way, I’m not taking them with me.’”

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