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Strength and service: Retiring fire chief reflects on his 40-year career in the community

Original post made on Jul 11, 2021

Harold Schapelhouman almost didn't become a Menlo Park firefighter. At 20, the chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, who retired last month after a 40-year career, needed to be convinced to take the Menlo Park Fire test.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, July 11, 2021, 8:29 AM

Comments (2)

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2021 at 10:16 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Fire Service is not just a job or just a profession but rather it is a Calling.

Harold responded to that Calling as a young man 40 years ago and he has never either looked back or failed to live up to the principles of that Calling. He has held almost every rank in the Fire District and held each with distinction.

He has served our community both here and throughout the nation in responding to many disasters including Oklahoma City, World Trade Center, the Columbia Space Shuttle recovery and too many hurricanes to count.

I am confident that if Harold had the choice, he would have been working at the pile in Sunrise Florida rather than being at this retirement ceremony.

He is outspoken on any issue where there is a threat to our community even when doing so was not politically correct.

He has helped make the Fire District one of the most innovative in the Nation and he was one of the key players in the creation of the National Urban Search and Rescue Teams.

Although he had earned his full retirement a decade ago, he has continued to serve for ten more years because of his love for the Calling and his devotion to our community.

And the unsung heroes behind every firefighter are her/his family who patiently waited for them to return from extra shifts and long deployments and who supported them every step of the way.

We owe Harold and his wife Lada and daughter Meg a huge Thank You!


Posted by pat
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 24, 2021 at 7:56 pm

pat is a registered user.

What an amazing person! This is an inspiring story and a wonderful example of what it means to dedicate one's life to serving the community. Enjoy your retirement, Chief Schapelhouman!


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