Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Rodondi of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department retired Thursday after a ceremonial honor guard "walk-out" and ringing of the firehouse bells.
Rodondi retired after a 30-year career that spanned from the Livermore-Pleasanton department to the San Bruno Fire Department. He thanked his former chiefs, colleagues, friends and family at a ceremony outside the department's headquarters on Nevada Street in Pleasanton.
"Two things go quickly: Raising children and a career," he told a crowd of about 100 community leaders, firefighters and supporters. "Thirty years went by in a flash."
Current and former fire chiefs praised Rodondi's hard work, caring attitude and dedication to his community.
"I don't know of anyone who had a deeper love for his community," former LPFD Chief Jim Miguel said.
Rodondi was presented a Livermore city proclamation and a T-shirt that said "Aloha in Montana," a nod to a firehouse tradition of presenting retirees with Hawaiian shirts.
Rodondi began his career at the San Bruno Fire Department and joined the LPFD in 1997. He served as an engineer, a captain and a battalion chief before becoming deputy fire chief in 2010.
During his career, he created the Captain's Academy, designed and acquired the department's newest fire engines and oversaw the design, contractor selection and beginning of construction of Fire Station 9.
Rodondi was sent to the East Coast with the Alameda County Incident Management Team after Hurricane Sandy to provide aid.
He and his wife, Debra, raised their three children in Pleasanton. With the children now grown, the Rodondis are moving not a new home in Missoula, Montana where theair daughter Veronica is a junior at the University of Montana.