After 40 years and counting of serving the local community, Portage Fire Chief Clayton Simonson Jr. believes any fire department’s success is built through a continuous team effort.
“You surround yourself with good firefighters, because without them, you’d be nothing,” Simonson said of the top job. “They make me what I am. They’ve got my back.”
Several police officers, city officials and fellow firemen stopped by the fire station Friday to congratulate Simonson on his firefighting career that’s spanned four decades. Friday was the anniversary of his hiring in1979. He became chief 15 years ago.
He’s also the second man by the name of Clayton Simonson to become the Portage fire chief. His father, Clayton Simonson Sr., led the department when he first started working there.