Steinbach’s Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Mike Penner has decided to step down, wrapping up 23 years of service with the department. 

In a public Facebook post, the team at the Steinbach Fire Department wished Penner well saying “after 23 amazing years with the SFD, Assistant Chief Mike Penner hung up his helmet on Tuesday. Chief Penner’s presence was always a positive force on scene and around the station. Have a great time in retirement.” 

Penner says he looks back at those 23 years of service fondly. 

“It's been a bit of a journey. It's been a great experience being involved with such an organization. I've made so many friends, it's been a great haul. My son actually joined seven years ago, so we were able to serve together for a while, so that was very cool. “ 

Penner says quite a few people have asked why he didn’t shoot for 25 years. He notes you can always set a new goal or a new date but at one point, you just have to call it.  

“I don't say I'm quitting, I'm retiring. It's not that I didn't want to be there anymore, it was just time to move on to the next chapter and leaving like that I think is good.” He adds “It's a commitment level and I didn't want to start losing that commitment. If you want to do it, I think you’ve got to give it 100%. I didn't want to fall short of that.” 

Going forward, Penner says he looks forward to having more personal and family time. That said, he notes it was odd to see his son leave for fire call without him Thursday evening.  

Fortunately, Penner notes he feels comfortable moving on from the department, confident in the amazing team he is leaving behind.  

“We've got a great number of officers. Our firefighters are top notch. I know some people say, 'who's going to fill your shoes?' But there's always someone that's capable, no one's ever irreplaceable and there are some great people that we've got on our fire department.” 

Penner thanks the current firefighters and all those that he worked with in the past for a great career as a firefighter. He also thanks the firefighters, and chiefs that he has worked with from surrounding departments like Hanover, Ste. Anne, and La Broquerie.