Argentine Township Fire Chief Matt Lafferty will step down from his role effective Dec. 20, 2020.
After five years as fire chief, Lafferty announced the decision on Facebook on June 14.
He started in the fire service in 1998, which is when he learned “this is the best job,” he said.
“When I started the position of fire chief five years ago, I committed myself to the core values of pride, honor and integrity. I didn’t take the position for the badge, the title, or the money. I wanted to better this department, move it forward, and instill a family atmosphere,” he said.
The end of 2019 was the hardest time of his life and career, he said in the post.
“It made me reevaluate things, leading me to make some personal changes. I looked back on the core values again … pride, honor and integrity,” he said. “For over 20 years, I’ve taken pride in my work. ‘The best job you’ll ever have’ is what I was told when I started on this path. They were right, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to be in the position of fire chief for the last five years.”
The fire chief position requires “all-in effort,” he said, and the necessity of balancing different careers makes the job “much more difficult and, honestly, is unfair to me, my family, the department, its members and also the community.”
Lafferty is co-owner of McNab’s Hardware in Waterford.
“I respect this profession enough to realize this position cannot be successfully filled on a part-time basis. When I came to this realization, it’s then that I realized ethically I had to make the ‘right’ decision to step down from the position of fire chief, effective Dec. 31, 2020,” he said.
Until he steps down, Lafferty will continue to do his best in leading the department. He’s willing to set up an interview board composed of fellow fire chiefs and members of the Argentine Township Board so he can help find the right choice in a full-time chief.
“I hope to still have a role on the (Argentine Township) Fire Department in this next chapter and I’m looking forward to the new opportunities that arise,” he said.
Argentine Township Supervisor Brian Saad said, “He is such a noble man. Matt will stay on as a volunteer firefighter and we commend the challenges he has overcome in the last couple of years.”