July 17, 2024 Donate

Chelsea, Chelsea Government, Community, Michigan, Washtenaw County

Tom Osborne is Stepping Down from his Role with the Chelsea Area Fire Authority

After 46 years in the fire service, Tom Osborne is retiring. He’s stepping down from his role on the Chelsea Area Fire Authority (CAFA) Board, where he served for 11 years along with 18 years as a volunteer firefighter for Chelsea.

Ron Howdyshell of Lima Township has been appointed as the At-Large board member to replace Osborne. In July, the board will elect a new chairperson for CAFA.

The Sun Times News followed up to ask Osborne about his service and what’s next for him.

Looking back to how he got involved with CAFA, he said after retiring from the Ann Arbor Fire Department (AAFD) he was asked by a few people in the Chelsea community to help out. He was a Lieutenant with the AAFD and served there for 25 years. He was also a volunteer for the Highland Fire Department for six years, and also served in Pontiac for two years as a Paramedic.

Osborne grew up in Detroit and went to Henry Ford High School.

Tom Osborne (at left) with actor Randolf Montooth at the Purple Rose.

In thinking about what motivated him to choose the firefighting path for a career, he said, “My first recollection was when I was about three or four. My whole life that was my goal. Lived the dream. I wish I was still working, but I’m 70.”

Life in this profession can be tough, so support is always important. He said his family has meant a lot to him and helped him along the way.

“Most of all thanks to my wife Debbie and my three kids for tolerating the stress of my career,” Osborne said. “I ended up in the hospital more than once.”

As to what’s next for him, he said he will “work at the ice rink fixing things, travel, hockey, more travel…. we will see.”