Howell, Wilkins retire from CFVD
By Jason Miller
After serving 25 years each with the Concrete Volunteer Fire Department, firefighters Colin Howell and Alan Wilkins have hung up their bunker gear.
Both men left the department this year, with Howell announcing his departure effective Jan. 1 and Wilkins leaving Oct. 1.
Wilkins and Howell began their careers with the department in January 1986. Wilkins began as a captain, then a few years later was named assistant chief by Chief Rich Philips.
“There were a lot of times when it was just me and Alan showing up at a fire,” said Philips. “We often didn’t have the manpower during the day, because everybody works, and most of them work out of town.”
Philips spoke highly of Wilkins’ commitment to the department, offering a special thanks for his service. “He served the fire department well for 25 years,” said Philips.
“We need more people like that to volunteer their time and risk their lives to protect the town.”
In addition to fighting fires, Howell was the department’s secretary for most of his time with the volunteer group. For Philips, Howell was a dedicated firefighter who stayed on task.
“Colin also served his department well for many years. He did his job right up till his retirement, didn’t slack off a bit, so I want to send a special thank-you to him too,” said Philips. “He does all kinds of things to serve his community, like the Booster club” (for which Howell is president).
Wilkins and Howell focused on community involvement when asked for their thoughts upon retirement.
“It’s been an enjoyable 25 years, although it went by quickly,” said Wilkins. “It’s been great to help the community.”
“It’s not just putting out fires,” said Howell. “It’s community service, and you get out what you put in. I just wanted to do my part.”
Wilkins’ assistant chief position has been filled by Darrel Reed, whose captain position was filled by Rick Christensen. Kevik Rensink will take over Howell’s secretary duties.