Community Says Farewell to Hyannis Fire Chief

Hyannis Fire Chief Brunelle's Last Day On The Job

Hyannis Fire Chief Brunelle's Last Day On The Job
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HYANNIS – The Hyannis Fire Department and the Cape Cod Community said goodbye to Chief Harold Brunelle Monday.

Brunelle retired after 44 years with the department, serving the last 19 as chief.

The fire station was filled with visitors on hand to wish Brunelle farewell throughout the day, including friends, co-workers, town officials personnel from other Cape Cod fire departments and individuals he helped during his career.

“You can’t put words to that. It just affects you right in the heart,” Brunelle said. “It’s very emotional when people you aren’t expecting to see come out just to say thanks.”

Deputy Chief Dean Melanson, who will take over on an interim basis, says the fanfare surrounding Brunelle was fitting.

“[It’s] kind of the end of an era to use an often abused phrase,” Melanson said. “And I think it’s a great tribute to everything he has done for the department and all the work he has done with all of the other departments.”

Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Fire Chief Michael Winn was one of several chiefs from other local departments to wish Brunelle a happy retirement. Winn said Brunelle was the first person to call to welcome him to the Cape when he was hired as chief over 3 years ago.

“He’s been a leader throughout his career,” Winn said. “He’s been instrumental in helping me adjust to the Cape way and I’ll miss his seniority, and I don’t mean that in age but his wisdom in the fire service.”

Brunelle said he will finally be able to experience Hyannis as a regular citizen for the first time in a long time and also plans to travel with his wife, Deb, who is a school teacher and is retiring in June.

Brunelle said the thing he will probably miss the most is putting on his uniform and brass every morning.

“To put that uniform on in the morning is such pride and I’ve been doing it all these years,” he said. “To come in here and work with the best group of people you could ever be with that is what I’m going to miss.”

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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