FARMINGTON — Farmington Fire and Rescue officers gave Capt. Richard Knight a ride home Friday night in whichever firetruck he preferred.

Knight, 62, retired Friday from the fire department after serving 35 years.

At 4:05 p.m., Knight radioed dispatch that he was signing off for the last time.

“It’s been a pleasure for 35 years,” Knight told dispatcher Tom Marble, who thanked him for his dedicated service to the department and the town. Marble wished him well.

Members gathered Friday afternoon to show appreciation and present him with a clock, a cake and to tell humorous stories about working with him.

“I’d do it again, absolutely,” Knight said. “Only I would have started at a younger age.”

Knight joined the department Oct. 9, 1979, was promoted to lieutenant in 1988 and captain in 2001, Deputy Chief Clyde Ross said.

“It’s a glorious but sad occasion,” he said of Knight’s retirement.

Knight has been committed to the department and dedicated to the town of Farmington, Ross said. He was instrumental in learning and training others on the town’s first aerial apparatus.

Since 2001, Knight has helped train students from the Foster Technology firefighting program.

“He’d quiz and instruct these young people,” Ross said.

Knight is a retired Farmington postmaster who served in the Fire Department’s per diem program since it started a few years ago.

Taxpayers would appreciate the way Knight has taken care of town equipment, firefighter Junior Turner said.

“Knight carried a long hat pin to get us to be more communicative with each other,” Ross said.

Members of the department don’t have a lot of radio talk during a fire.

“We’ve trained together and know what to expect of ourselves and each other,” Ross said.

Town Manager Richard Davis expressed appreciation to Knight on behalf of the town, saying, “I don’t know how to adequately say thank you for 35 years of public service.”

Other department members reminded him of the largest fires, coldest nights and dramatic blazes they have fought with him.

They also shared humorous stories. Firefighter Patty Cormier gave Knight a card with $50. The money Knight said was the reward she posted when she lost her car keys. Knight found them for her but it took over a year of teasing for him to get his reward, he said.

“More money for poker,” Knight said, referring to games shared with other members.

“Dick is opinionated to say the least,” Turner said. “But you always know where he stands.”

Along with helping with training, Knight worked with the department at its fair booth and its involvement with Operation Santa Claus, the Children’s Task Force festival and the department’s fundraising barbecues, Ross said. He was also treasurer of the department’s Benevolence Association.

“There’s been some good times and some bad times but more good than bad,” Chief Bell told Knight.

He offered Knight a ride home and promised he could leave a little early on this last day.

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