A retirement ceremony honoring Snohomish County Fire District 1 Capt. Andy Speier for 32 years in the fire service will take place Tuesday, April 12, at Brier Fire Station 18, 21206 Poplar Way.
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. Refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m. Parking at the fire station will be reserved for fire department vehicles. Guest parking will be in the south end of the parking lot at Albertsons, 4301 212th St. SW, Mountlake Terrace. Shuttle service to the fire station begins at 8 a.m. Carpools are encourage.
Speier, a native New Yorker, got his first exposure to the fire service as a student firefighter in Connecticut. He made the move west to attend Evergreen College after leading bicycle tours to the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s.
He began his fire service career here as a volunteer with Thurston County Fire District 9, then went on to work as a firefighter at the Grand Canyon, Kent, New York City and Bainbridge Island before joining Fire District 1 in 1991. Speier was one of 10 firefighters from Fire District 1 transferred to the Edmonds Fire Department in 1996 under a contract agreement to serve the Esperance area. The agreement allowed Speier to transfer back to Fire District 1 in 2001.
As a member of the Fire District 1 Rescue Team, Speier has been a leader and an instructor for firefighters throughout the region.
When terrorists struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Speier traveled to his hometown and put his rescue skills to work at Ground Zero. “I went back for a week and did searching, digging and cutting,” Speier said. “The engine and truck from the station where I used to work and all the crews from my old battalion were lost that day.”
Speier’s plans for retirement include continuing to teach rescue classes and pursuing his interest in bicycling. Speier has bicycled across the United States four times. His latest cycling challenge is randonneuring, long-distance endurance riding. In a typical randonneuring event, riders might cover 1200 kilometers in a 90-hour period.