Dickinson Fire Chief retires after 42 years of service

Published: Feb. 26, 2020 at 10:56 AM CST
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The Dickinson Fire Department is saying farewell to a man who's served on the department for four decades, and was the chief for the last two.

Robert Sivak joined the department in September of 1978 as a volunteer fire fighter.

In 2006, he took on the role as the chief, and has transformed the department through oil booms, adding another station, more firefighters and training.

But his 42-year-old legacy will last longer than the changes he made.

In two short months, Chief Sivak is looking ahead to a new chapter after dedicating half of his life to the fire department.

"To be here today and realize that I’ve put that much time in, it doesn't seem like it. And maybe that's part of being in a field that I love, and having a job that I really love doing," said Sivak.

His passion for the department had no limits.

"He devoted his life and career to this department. There many nights he would go home and do homework and read and research. His job was never done at 5:00 p.m., " said Debora Barros, assistant chief of Support Service.

And his around the clock job, came with operations unlike any other.

"We've had some major fires, the old Elks club building downtown, I was the chief at the time," said Sivak.

But after putting on the same uniform for four decades,

" I can just tell that it’s time for someone else to take the wheel," said Sivak.

Chief Sivak is passing the torch to someone else.

"He saw a lot of changes and I don’t know if we'll have a Chief that sees as many in the future or near future as much as he's experience through his reign," said Barros.

As he closes the door on his 42-year career, he's opening the window to brand new opportunities.

"There's the reality of, who am I going to be? And what am I going to do when I hear sirens," said Sivak.

Soon, another chief will fill these boots and gear up for the next decade in Dickinson.

Chief Sivaks last day will be on April 3.