Howell Fire Area Chief Andrew Pless was 17 years old when he became a firefighter with the Putnam Township fire department.
In August, 36 years later, Pless is planning to retire.
Originally he wanted to become a police officer, and called his decision to become a firefighter "a fluke."
Pless was in the junior police program in Pinckney as a high school senior and sought out firefighting when the police program disbanded.
He said he was the only person who showed up at an information session.
"They asked how old I was," Pless said. "I told them I was 17 and they said, "'you're are close enough, you're going to become a firefighter.'"
Since then he worked with the Putnam Township Fire Department and the Novi Fire Department before working full time at the Howell Area Fire Department, becoming chief in 2008.
He said his time in fire fighting and as Howell Fire Chief has been very enjoyable.