Town Square

Post a New Topic

Strength and service: Retiring fire chief reflects on his 40-year career in the community

Original post made on Jul 11, 2021

Harold Schapelhouman almost didn't become a Menlo Park firefighter. At 20, the chief of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, who retired last month after a 40-year career, needed to be convinced to take the Menlo Park Fire test.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, July 11, 2021, 8:29 AM

Comments (2)

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2021 at 10:16 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Fire Service is not just a job or just a profession but rather it is a Calling.

Harold responded to that Calling as a young man 40 years ago and he has never either looked back or failed to live up to the principles of that Calling. He has held almost every rank in the Fire District and held each with distinction.

He has served our community both here and throughout the nation in responding to many disasters including Oklahoma City, World Trade Center, the Columbia Space Shuttle recovery and too many hurricanes to count.

I am confident that if Harold had the choice, he would have been working at the pile in Sunrise Florida rather than being at this retirement ceremony.

He is outspoken on any issue where there is a threat to our community even when doing so was not politically correct.

He has helped make the Fire District one of the most innovative in the Nation and he was one of the key players in the creation of the National Urban Search and Rescue Teams.

Although he had earned his full retirement a decade ago, he has continued to serve for ten more years because of his love for the Calling and his devotion to our community.

And the unsung heroes behind every firefighter are her/his family who patiently waited for them to return from extra shifts and long deployments and who supported them every step of the way.

We owe Harold and his wife Lada and daughter Meg a huge Thank You!

Posted by pat
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 24, 2021 at 7:56 pm

pat is a registered user.

What an amazing person! This is an inspiring story and a wonderful example of what it means to dedicate one's life to serving the community. Enjoy your retirement, Chief Schapelhouman!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Food hall forage: What we ate at State Street Market in Los Altos
By The Peninsula Foodist | 3 comments | 8,695 views

Is renewable diesel the real deal?
By Sherry Listgarten | 7 comments | 5,888 views

Do we really have a housing crisis?
By Diana Diamond | 24 comments | 4,297 views

Princess Diana: "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,977 views