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VRFA Fire Chief Laatsch to retire after 34 years of service
After reflecting on his 34-year anniversary at the Auburn Fire Department and Valley Regional Fire Authority and contemplating for months when "the right time to go" was, Stan Laatsch made his intention to retire on June 30 official.
"June 16th is my anniversary date at the department. I am happy, healthy, and content. Thirty-four years – it just seemed to be the right time for me," Laatsch said. "I have had a good career. It has been a privilege to serve the community, an honor to serve as chief."
"Stan has dedicated more than half of his life to serving the community, developing the modern fire service and building the department – he has earned and deserves a great retirement," said Eric Robertson, Valley Regional Fire Authority administrator.
Laatsch began his service as a firefighter with the legacy Auburn Fire Department at its one and only station, at 700 Auburn Way South, on June 16, 1977. During the course of his career, he served as a lieutenant, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief. He served in the department's Special Operations Division for 13 years, including eight as the chief officer.
Laatsch was tapped as fire chief in May 2007, leading the largest division and all of the organization's operational personnel.
The VRFA now operates five response stations and one training station, with 120 employees serving the communities of Algona, Auburn and Pacific.