After 28 years, Jim Mathiesen is ready for a break. The longtime engineer in the Clinton Fire Department is, as of Oct. 2, retired.
So what about his free time is he looking forward to most?
“Being able to sleep at night,” he said.
Mathiesen was honored by his fellow firefighters during a lunch ceremony Wednesday. Family, friends and Mayor Rodger Holm were present to present awards, share memories, and get in one last joke or two about Mathiesen’s golf swing.
Holm spoke first at the ceremony, recognizing Mathiesen’s service as an engineer. As engineer, Mathiesen was charged with several responsibilities, chief among them, the safety of his crew. Holm presented Mathiesen with a certificate of appreciation from the city as a token of gratitude.
“It’s a piece of paper in a frame,” Holm said. “What it really means is that the citizens of Clinton ....appreciate your (work.)”
Mathiesen was also awarded a golden axe, and recognized for his commitment to his fellow firefighters and the union representing them.
The large turnout surprised Mathiesen, who has been on the force since 1983. He thanked his wife, his fellow firefighters and his father, Robert, who was also a firefighter from 1955-1990. Mathiesen said he would miss the friends he’s developed over the years, and will have to adjust to something new.
“It’s not just a job,” he said, “it’s a lifestyle.”
Arizona awaits for Mathiesen, who will winter in the considerably warmer state.
Though his time with the fire department is over in an official capacity, Mathiesen said that the job has had a positive impact on his life.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to be part of this fire department,” he said.