The voice on the other end of the line may stay the same on the message machine at the Payson Fire Department, but the person behind it is moving on.
Thursday, Jan. 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Payson Fire Department will host an open house at the Main Street station so the community can say goodbye to the woman on the other end of their phone calls, Carol Longacre.
Longacre, who has been with the town since Jan. 1995, is retiring.
"Her work ethic has been exemplary. I have worked with a lot of people in my time, but Carol is the finest, most dedicated and most efficient of them all. She is just outstanding," Chief John Ross said.
The chief said Longacre has handled the office at the Main Street station with the most positive attitude at all times.
"She gives people excellent customer service and addresses their concerns. Carol has been a counselor to both the public and our firefighters. We are going to miss her very much. In fact, everyone in the community is going to miss her," Ross said.
Besides her regular work in the office, Longacre also has organized and managed the fire department's support rehabilitation volunteer group, Ross said. These are the volunteers who take care of the firefighters' well-being at emergency scenes.
Ross said when there is a large scale emergency, the volunteers are paged. They come in and load the rehab bus with liquids and foods and come to the scene and set up a rehab sector. When the firefighters are getting low on fluids and need a rest, the volunteers are there to take care of them.
"Carol has done an exemplary job with that over the years. She epitomizes the demeanor and professionalism that all fire department members should have. Her rapport with citizens has always been outstanding, even those with complaints," Ross said.