Beloit's oldest retired firefighter, 91, looks back at service

  • Source: Beloit Daily News - Metered Site
  • Published: 11/14/2022 12:00 AM

“When it’s time to respond, you better be ready.” That’s what 91-year-old Chester Kaminski learned after many years battling blazes. Kaminski is the oldest living Beloit Fire Department firefighter, having retired as Captain on Dec. 26, 1986 after 23 years of service. Set to celebrate his 92 birthday on Dec. 28, he shared his wisdom gleaned from years of fires and lots of time with co-workers. He started working at Beloit Fire Department’s Station 4, which was built on Milwaukee Road in 1963—a building that is no longer there and replaced by the Qdoba Mexican restaurant. Kaminski started scrubbing bathrooms and mowing the lawn in his early days on the job. In those days, the fire trucks were open with the firefighters riding in back sans protection from the elements. He recalled one close call where an out-of-control driver struck the firetruck and ripped off the windshield, spraying glass everywhere.


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