|A now-retired Galesburg Firefighter says even as he knows it's time for him to hang it up, he also knows that it's not at the best time for the fire department.
Mike Whitson retired Friday after 20 years fighting fires in Galesburg and several years before that in Monmouth. He says the fire department is already several firefighters down from just a few years ago, with as many as four more proposed to be cut from the city budget now.
Whitson tells WGIL it's not good if you want a fire put out quickly and safely.
"Nobody really really knows, were probably going to be shutting down this 55 rig, we've got the big quint ladder here, but we have to have the man power for those initial attacks, if were shot a guys now just down to ten we cannot let the guys be not have enough man power on the quint ladder."
Whitson is expected to be replaced on the fire department, but Chief Tom Simkins says that firefighter may end up having somewhat of a different role.
Whitson served as the city's rental property inspector, and also was a fire department investigator.