Northville Township Fire Captain Dan Dipple is saying goodbye to firefighting, but his commitment to helping others will continue.
After 26 years of running into burning buildings, Capt. Dipple will hang up his fire hat and retire March 24. He is pursuing a career in the non-profit sector.
Helping people is his passion and it’s something he has done his entire career since joining the department in 1997, first as firefighter/EMT, then lieutenant and now captain.
Whether it’s teaching a CPR class or ensuring first responders have access to mental health resources after a stressful critical incident, Capt. Dipple steps forward to make a difference.
“I feel grateful and privileged to have had such a great career here,” he said.
Many Northville Township residents have a special place in his heart. One memorable encounter was when in the early 2000s, the Department was looking to add its first automated external defibrillator (AED).
“An 8-year-old resident, Chris Ponder, walked into the fire station with a brief case and wanted to set up a kids fun run to help us raise money to get the AED,” he said. “We loved his excitement and wanted to help him with his passion project. We also encouraged him to raise the money for other kids in need. That fun run raised $3,000. He donated it to the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center and Northville Youth Assistance.”
This started a lifelong friendship with Ponder, then a Winchester Elementary student. He’s stopped by through the years, even while he was in college, Capt. Dipple explained.
“These are the special types of relationships we have with residents,” he said.
Another special friendship he will greatly miss is with his fellow firefighters/paramedics.
“It’s a great bond that goes on here at the station,” he said. “We’ve stood up in each other’s weddings, we’ve gone to family funerals, we attend games together, grab breakfast together. When you spend 24-hour shifts together, you become close.”
Because of those relationships, Capt. Dipple will be a regular in the Department’s extra-curricular activities, including golf outings, hockey games and the Northville Township Firefighters Charity Fund, of which he is one of the founding members. The group raises money for such causes as Northville Civic Concern, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Great Lakes Burn Camp. He has had a leadership role in that organization, serving as a Director since 2014.
Captain and coach
Capt. Dipple also was once Coach Dipple. He coached hockey at Northville High School for eight years. He hung up his skates to be more involved with the activities of his two daughters, ages 18 and 16. He looks forward to spending even more time with them.
He is ready for a new challenge now.
“I fell in love with firefighting at the academy,” he said. “It’s an active job and you have to think on your feet. I’m looking forward to helping others in a new capacity.”
Thank you to Northville Township Communications Specialist Rene Wisely for contributing this article to SocialHouseNews.com.