Speaking over the phone on Monday, Cyr cited some declines in health and his 63 years as his main reasons for retiring at this time. Cyr said he plans to officially step down on June 30.
Things have changed for firefighters over those years, Cyr said. Of particular concern he noted were the increasing amounts of chemicals and toxins, and other hazardous materials that responders are likely to encounter these days.
“Back then you went in to a building with a handkerchief over your mouth,” Cyr said, referring to the time before departments began using self-contained breathing apparatus.
Last year, Cyr retired from the Northern Aroostook Regional Incinerator Facility, now known as Valley Recycling Facility Inc., in Frenchville, after 27 years. Prior to that, Cyr said, he had his own welding and fabrication business.
Along with being fire chief, Cyr was also the emergency management director for the town of Madawaska and was in charge of maintaining both the town office and safety complex buildings.
He said that he does not plan to stay on in any active role with the fire department after he retires.
Cyr added that he has no plans at this time for moving out of the St. John Valley, and will continue living in Madawaska.
The Madawaska board of selectman was scheduled to its Tuesday evening regular meeting. Christina Therrien, town manager, said on Monday that after the board accepts that letter, she anticipates the search process will begin for a new fire chief.