SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN) — “What happened to my hair!” Paul Cimino said jokingly as he looked at a picture that was four decades old.
Cimino saw a much younger version of himself in that picture. One that was just looking to become a fire engineer.
“You know you always strive to drive the big red truck,” Cimino said about his early experiences with the fire department.
Over the course of his career, he got to drive the truck and do a little bit more. He's climbed the ladder to become the department's fire marshal.
“I didn’t get there on my own. I’ve had a lot of mentors," Cimino said. "I’ve had a lot of folks that gave me opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”
Those mentors quickly became some of his closest friends. To this day he still talks to them about the experiences they shared while working together.
As Cimino looked back on his career, one of the biggest things he valued was the community especially in times of crisis like back in 2011 when the monument fire was burning.
"You’ll see a community, a precious small community like ours come together," Cimino said. "I mean it's incredible. It just seemed like the resources kept coming and coming.”
Cimino will be finishing up his career with the fire department at the end of the month, after that he plans to spend more time with his eight grandchildren.
"I’m just going to wake up. I have my family; I have my health and I'll just see where the day takes me." Cimino said.