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Larrimore retires after 40 years

July 3, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

After 40 years as a firefighter, 9 years with South Trail Fire, and 31 at Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District, Capt. Tim Larrimore retired last Friday.

A retirement party was held at the Pine Island Elks Wednesday to honor his 40 years of fire service.

"We can't thank him enough for what he's done for us and for the community," Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "Timmy has taught us so much, especially me. Without Timmy I wouldn't be the person I am today and this department wouldn't be what it is today."

Article Photos

Tim Larrimore, left, transfers “Pine Island 5” to Bobby Barr.


Larrimore was born in Maryland and moved to Pine Island when he was 8 years old. He had his first taste of firefighting when he was just 16.

"When I was 16 years old I would get off the school bus at the four-way," Larrimore said. "This was back when Pine Island Road and Stringfellow Road were dirt roads. I would walk down to the firehouse and the chief, Marty Slater, would pick a few kids to help put out brush fires. In those days we had brush fires all the time."

When Larrimore turned 18, Slater and the department paid for his fire school. When Larrimore graduated, the Pine Island department wasn't hiring and Larrimore went to work at South Trail Fire where he stayed for 9 years. In 1988, he transferred to Pine Island.

"I used to say I'd either end up in the fire house or the jail house," Larrimore said. "Marty Slater had a way of getting through to you. I can honestly say if it wasn't for Marty Slater I wouldn't be here. He took me under his wing and he taught me you have to pass it forward to the next generation. That's what I've tried to do."

"Tim has been the B shift captain for many, many years and everyone who's worked under him has been promoted," Mickuleit said. "And today, even after all these years, Timmy is still the man fighting the guys to get the nozzle so he can be the first one in the fire. He's been protecting and serving the island for a long time."

Mickuleit presented Larrimore with what's considered the ultimate firefighter award, a large engraved gold axe. Larrimore also received a fishing pole and a knife.

As part of the tradition, Larrimore handed off his ID as "Pine Island 5" to Capt. Bobby Barr. He also presented a new helmet to newly promoted Engineer John Busscher.

"Timmy has passed on so much information to all of us, we could never thank him for all he's done for this department, Mickuleit said."

"I've know Tim Larrimore forever -- since high school," Capt. Bill Russell said. "We both lived on the island and Timmy grew up in St. James City and I grew up in Matlacha. Timmy is the guy that's liked by everyone -- everyone who meets him likes him. Timmy is just a good, down to earth, unique man. He'd give you the shirt off his back, and you'll always get the truth from Timmy. We're all going to miss him."



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