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Listen: Independence Fire Chief's Final Dispatch

After 45 years of service, Independence Fire Chief Rick Messingschlager is hanging it up.

He started with the Independence Fire District in 1971, and became chief in 1981.

"I'm not completely leaving," Messingschlager told WLWT. "I'll be around. I can't completely leave something that’s been my whole life.”

"Over his many years of leadership, I never doubted Chief’s dedication to the citizens of Independence, and his loyalty to the employees of the fire district," said Clint Green, president of Independence Professional Firefighters Local 3945, in a statement posted to Facebook. "Many will describe Chief as the best boss they have ever had and a cornerstone in the success of the fire district. A true leader who built the Independence Fire District into one of the most respected fire departments in the region."

The chief's final dispatch can be heard here:

-Staff report

Photo via Facebook