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Strotz retires from Arlington Fire Department
ARLINGTON After 25 years of emergency medical service work, Darlene Strotz retired from the Arlington Fire Department Aug. 8, but she wants everyone to know that shes still around.
Ill still be working with District 19 in Silvana, said Strotz, who began volunteering there at the start of her EMS career. She began working with the Arlington Fire Department eight years ago when they took over EMS from Cascade Valley Hospital. Before that, shed worked on the CVH aid car for 12 years.
My husband is having his hip replaced, so Im taking more time to take care of him, said Strotz, who still runs a store with her grandsons. This is a good bunch of people to work with. I wont miss getting up at 5 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, but even when Ive had Wednesdays off, Ive found myself getting up automatically.
Several Arlington firefighters who attended her retirement party said they would miss having Strotz around on Wednesday mornings, not in the least because she always baked them cakes, brownies, cookies and apple pies.
Shes been like our mother hen, straightening our collars and making us food, said firefighter Scott Hillis. Shes looked out for us, whether weve been on duty or off.
Strotz began training as an emergency medical technician when, as a mother of four on a farm, she decided it would be a good skill to have.
You didnt have to belong to the fire department back then, Strotz said. I took classes at the hospital. I just enjoy helping people and working with them. Its been like one big family here.
When asked about the changes shes seen during her years as an EMT, Strotz and firefighter Doug Schmidt both acknowledged that the states increased training requirements for EMTs apply to paid and unpaid volunteers alike. Schmidt followed by praising Strotz for demonstrating her generosity to her final day.
Shes retiring today, but she still baked us an apple pie, he laughed.