Ron Burton blames his dad. The town of St. Joseph fire chief recalls how his father, an assistant fire chief running a truck out of Burkhardt, would take him along on fire calls decades ago. Burton remembers the allure of the siren wails and light flashes as they responded to calls. "It was a pretty cool thing for a little boy," he said. That early exposure was all it took to spawn his own firefighting career. "I don't know that I had much choice in the matter," he said with a chuckle. But after more than 20 years as St. Joe's fire chief, Burton is stepping down from the post in a decision he said allows "younger blood" to tackle the role.