July 2, 2013
Capt. Thomas Needham looked at the engraved antique fire extinguisher, a gift from Eastside Fire & Rescue for his 45 years of service, and said, “You know, I think I might have put out a fire or two with one of these.”
Needham, 61, retired in May and a retirement recognition ceremony was held at EFR’s regular board meeting June 13.
Chief Lee Soptich told the crowded room about how Needham went up to the Issaquah fire chief when he was just 15 and a half years old and said he wanted to be a firefighter. The chief told him to come back when he was 16.
A couple of days after celebrating his birthday, Needham went back to the fire chief, reiterating his desire to become a firefighter.