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Published: July 14, 2008 01:14 am ShareThisPrintThis
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Retiring deputy chief eyeing Disney, Vegas vacations
By Cate Lecuyer
Staff writer

BEVERLY - After 34 years with the Beverly Fire Department, Deputy Chief Wayne Francis got up to cut a piece of his retirement cake.
He was followed by a smooth-talking, animated Dalmatian named Patches, who rode in a remote control fire truck.
"Hey Wayne, I want the first piece of cake," the dog quipped. "We know you can't eat it. Stick with your fruit basket."
Patches is normally used in classrooms to teach young kids about fire safety, but on Friday his mission was to heckle Francis.
"The camaraderie you get with these guys is incredible," Francis said. He'll definitely miss it, but he's turning 61 in August and is ready to move on to another stage of his life after spending most of it at the fire department.
"Thirty-four years is a long time," he said. "You want to retire while you're healthy and can still enjoy it."
The Salem resident said he's looking forward to traveling.
"You see those commercials after the Super Bowl for Disney World? I'm going there," he said.
He also plans to hit up Vegas to play some slots and catch a few shows. But he said he still plans to come back and visit the station in Beverly, and will stay in touch with friends from other cities as well.
His father and his uncle are both retired firefighters, one brother is a captain in Salem, and the other just retired as a firefighter at Logan Airport.
"It's sort of the family business," he said. Francis added that there's also something special about having the public trust you, which makes the job incredibly rewarding and satisfying.
"It's been a great 34 years," he said. "I wouldn't change any of it."
 
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