Miller says he and his wife, Denise Blankenship, plan to make their permanent home in Sitka. “We just want to continue doing anything we can for this town,” he says. (KCAW photo/Berett Wilber)

Sitka Fire Chief Dave Miller handed in his helmet at the end of September, concluding a 25-year career working for Sitka. Originally in charge of the kitchen at Sheldon Jackson College, Miller joined the Sitka Fire Department as a volunteer in 1988. Seven years later, he was hired as the department’s engineer and became a career firefighter. In 1999 he was named chief. But that was not to last, as Miller took a five-year detour (2004-2009) in the Sitka Police Department as jailer — a job which (although he loves the Firehall) he calls “one of the best I’ve ever had.” He reapplied for fire chief when City Hall had difficulty filling the vacancy in 2009. He told the administrator at the time, “You may as well hire me. I’m already here and ready to work.” Shortly thereafter he reported one morning as usual to the jail and saw that he was not on the day’s schedule. “I guess I got the job!” he says.

Miller and his wife, Denise Blankenship, will make their permanent home in Sitka. But they plan to travel a bit for the next couple of years, “and try to figure out what we want to do when we grow up.”

Miller’s successor as chief is former engineer Craig Warren.