Farewell Chief Ruggles

troy rugglesST.JOHNSBURY- Troy Ruggles who has been a part of the Saint Johnbury Fire Department for 34 years is saying goodbye this summer. Ruggles will head to the Burlington Fire Department where he will start a new chapter in his life.


"I'm going to the city of Burlington Fire department to serve as their training officer." Said Troy Ruggles Fire Chief.

"I'm at a point in my career here in St. Johnsbury that I was thinking about moving on and doing something different."

"I have a passion for training and this training chief's position opened up in Burlington so I applied for it and was very successful and fortunate to be chosen." Ruggles went on to say.

The decision to apply wasn't the difficult part, leaving the station was the kicker for Ruggles.

"It wasn't a tough decision to apply; it's a bitter sweet decision when you've been somewhere as long as I have."

"It was a tough decision in finally deciding it was time for me to leave and move on and the department needed a change and it would give the department an opportunity to change."

Ruggles also doesn't look at what he does every day for a living as a job; it's something a lot more to him.

"It's not really a job it's a way of life and you have your own family here just like you would at home." Ruggles continued.

"The interesting thing about being a firefighter is that you have your best days in the fire house, but the unfortunate reality is that some of the worst days are in the fire house and those are ones that will never go away but you'd like to forget about."

As Ruggles gets ready to leaves he has some advice for the younger firefighters and for new members coming on board.

"Stay focused, enjoy what they're doing, be passionate about being a firefighter and never stop learning."

"This is a job that is dynamic and the firefighters today is every day is a training day because if you pause for any amount of time so much is happening so quickly it'll pass you by and it will be tough to catch up." Ruggles went on to say.

Over in Burlington Ruggles will be reunited with some familiar faces and now has some new opportunities that Saint Johnsbury doesn't offer.

"I have a lot of friends that are in the fire department so I'm looking forward to that and I'm looking forward to being in a bigger department where some of the opportunities they have we don't experience here in a smaller department."

Ruggles was asked to describe his life here at Saint Johnsbury in one word, but it took a lot more to truly explain it.

"I would say compassionate towards the fire service because that's all I've ever wanted to do and that's all I've want to do."

"As well as a dedication, it's a way of life when you decide to become a firefighter and you take on the firefighter livelihood and mentality. It's all you want to do." Said Ruggles.