BRADENTON -- Two senior officials with the Bradenton Fire Department are retiring effective today.
Battalion Chief Glenn Hudson, who joined BFD in January 1984, and Training Director Tom Woods, who joined in March 1983, were greeted by city employees Friday. Colleagues at the fire department will bid the two farewell at a gathering this afternoon.
"They're both senior leadership within the organization, so it's definitely going to be a loss to the agency in terms of experience," said David Ezell, assistant fire chief. "At the same time we invest a lot of time into our junior members preparing them to step up when positions become available."
Hudson, known as "Hud Ro," made improvementsto the inventory systemand was a staple as a volunteer cook at the annualChristmas event at Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities.
He graduated from Southeast High School in 1974 and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1976 to 1980. Hudson has been married 26 years and has two children.
Woods has educated and trained many firefighters since his 1997 promotion to training officer and captain. He routinely dressed as Santa at the Bradenton Firefighters' Association's annual Christmas event.
Woods also served in the military and traveled before coming to Florida in 1974 with just 23 cents in his pocket. He has been married 26 years and has two sons.
"It's a bittersweet time," Ezell said. "While saying goodbye to close friends and co-workers, it's also a new chapter for the new guys coming up and taking the program into a new direction."
Elizabeth Johnson, Herald crime reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. Follow her on Twitter @EJohnsonBHcrime.