First Responder of the Week: Chief Tim Shaw

Published: Sep. 27, 2020 at 10:18 AM EDT
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ADDISON, Mich. (WTVG) - Addison Fire Chief Tim Shaw is calling it a career after more than three decades of service and will be retiring on September 30.

His office walls show off his greatest joys: his family and career. After 35 years serving on the department, Shaw said there’s not much difference between the two.

“This is my second family,” said Shaw. “But now I get to spend more time with my first family, and I’m looking very much forward to that.”

Shaw rose through every rank in the department. As Chief, he revamped the ambulance services to provide Advanced Life Support and managed to bring in new life-saving gear to the department, and the addition of a training center.

Not surprising to those who know him, Shaw says his greatest accomplishment can be found on the other side of Devil’s Lake with the addition of Fire Station Three. Shaw says 60 percent of the department calls were on the east side of the lake and had a slower response time.

“We needed to build and bridge or put a station there,” he said.

Finding the funds to build a new station was a challenge, so Shaw decided to step in and help build it himself, saving the department an estimated $200,000.

“We got a price of $1.3 million to build it. I went back to the board and told them that we probably won’t be able to raise that much money,” Shaw said. “If we are going to do this, I said to put me as general contractor and I think we can get it done for a lot less.”

“Being a smaller community, we don’t have a lot of extra money, so he works hard and brings the money in and has brought in over $4 million in donations to this community,” said Deputy Fire Chief David Aungst.

For Shaw, serving the community has become the heart of his career. Over the years his hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed.

“He is one of the most generous guys you’ll ever meet,” said Aungst. “He will lend a hand to anyone, anytime.”

Aungst has worked with Shaw for more than 30 years and nominated him to be 13abc’s First Responder of the Week.

“He is deserving of this because he has taken this place and has moved it forward,” Aungst said. “He hasn’t stepped in as chief and kept things at status quo. He is constantly building this department up.”

Shaw will now move from serving one family to another, but he said it is the people who make up the department that he will miss the most.

“They’re family here and a good bunch of people,” said Shaw. “They do a great job and it will be fun to watch where this goes from here.”

During retirement, Shaw said he plans to spend more time with his five children, 17 grandchildren, and wife of 40 years.

Jason Hallenbeck will fill in as interim chief for the Addison Fire Department.

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