By Beth David, Editor
The pouring rain and winds of a storm were not enough to stop more than 50 people from standing outside in front of Wayne Oliveira’s house on Sunday, 10/27/19, to honor him as he took his “last ride home” on Ladder 1, officially starting his retirement after 42 years with the Fairhaven Fire Department.
Mr. Oliveira started his career with the FFD as a call firefighter in 1997 and was appointed as a full time firefighter in 1986, and served as a firefighter/paramedic for the next 33 years. He was on the job for many changes including when the town transitioned the ambulance service from the police department to the fire department. Wayne became a state certified paramedic and served on the town’s ambulance study committee. He was active in Fairhaven’s fire prevention program with Lt. Earl Faunce, which took the pair into the community to speak about fire safety.
He started the annual public safety open house event 28 years ago.
“We were doing fire prevention and having an Open House long before the State ever developed the prevention programs that exist today,” said Mr. Oliveira.
He was also trained as an infant safety seat installer and provided that service free to the public while on duty. He was also the department’s public information officer.
In addition to those duties, Mr. Oliveira stepped in to help Santa at the annual Sing-Along whenever the Big Guy couldn’t quite get this far south so close to Christmas.
Mr. Oliveira resides with his fiancée Vicki Paquette. They will be married this year on 12/31.
After his ride home in the rain, Mr. Oliveira was greeted in front of his house by firefighters, former firefighters, friends, family, and members of the public.
Selectboard chairperson Charles K. Murphy, Sr., read a citation from the town, which including naming Sunday, October 27, 2019, as Wayne Oliveira Day. Of course, someone asked if it was a paid holiday for the fire department and if it would be very year, which got the soggy crowd laughing.
In the citation, the town noted Mr. Oliveira’s many achievements while with the fire department, including being named Fairhaven Man of the Year by the Standard Times in 2012, and his many volunteer efforts on committees and in organizations, including the Fairhaven Village Militia and the Outdoor Movie Night, to name just two.
“Wayne Oliveira has served as an example to his peers and the residents of Fairhaven, both in his personal and employment achievements; and he has been a shining example of public service in the Town of Fairhaven,” reads the citation.
“We thank him for his time and dedication over the past 40 years. He will be missed by all,” it continues.
Mr. Oliveira said he looks forward to some R&R and working per diem at the hospital.
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