Assistant fire chief retires after 30 years

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — After 30 years on the job, Assistant Fire Chief Juan Loya has hung up his fire hat for good.

It was a heartfelt moment for Loya and city officials at the last City Council meeting. Loya accepted an award of appreciation from Mayor Bharat Patel on behalf of the city and Council for all of his hard work and dedicated service to South Padre Island.

“He’s just a great guy, and did a great service for the city,” Patel said.

Loya was there for almost every emergency.

He was one of the first responders when the causeway collapsed in 2001 and he was on duty for many other accidents doing his job the best he could.

“He’s a very outstanding, honest man and I wish him well in his retirement.” Patel said. “He’s always been good, and we’re not happy to see him go, but everybody has to retire at some time.”

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