Excerpts from ABC7chicago.com:

Chicago Fire Department Captain Patrick Ward is retiring after 43 years of serving the city. Since he was 19, Ward has dedicated his life to helping others. Ward started out as an ambulance attendant, then became an EMT and paramedic. In 1996, he fulfilled his dream of becoming a firefighter.

Ward spent the last 19 years in and out of a firehouse, saving lives and teaching the next generation of paramedics and firefighters, including his son.

For Ward, Thursday was a bittersweet end to a career of doing what he loves. Ward will be celebrating his 63rd birthday on Monday.

thanks Dan

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