Allen LaConte was a young man just out of high school in the early 1970s, living in Menomonee Falls, when he answered an advertisement seeking volunteer firefighters.
“I thought I would give that a whirl. So I did and I fell in love with the job right away,” LaConte said.
It was an emotionally charged moment Monday night during the Police & Fire Commission meeting when LaConte announced his retirement at He officially leaves the fire department in early March.
“It is just time to go,” said LaConte, 61, who has been with the Waukesha Fire Department for 34 years after starting in July 1977, during an interview with Waukesha Patch. He took the fire chief position in August 2001 after a nationwide search.
When he started all those years ago, LaConte didn’t imagine of one day being chief. But then he started in Waukesha and began to see the opportunities, he said.
“Then I thought I thought that would be a position I would be interested in – chief of an organization, especially this one,” LaConte said. “This is a really great place to work.”
LaConte will be staying in the area as his wife still works here. He is considering different ways to spend his retirement time.
“I have some ideas, we will have to see what happens but initially nothing – take a little breather,” LaConte said.
Meanwhile, the PFC approved two promotions in the Waukesha Fire Department. Jim Haakenson was promoted to lieutenant and Firefighter Mark Wichser was promoted to an equipment operator.