This week, we celebrate the distinguished career of our President who retires after 37 years of service. Steve Beuerlein has proven himself to be one of the most prolific and impactful leaders in our history. President Beuerlein has served for nearly his entire career on our executive board and navigated our organization successfully through some of its most challenging times.
Early in his career, he responded to a deadly drowning of siblings in a remote area when he worked for a private fire department that was chronically underfunded and understaffed. Having to manage this incident without the right resources and nearly all alone, the tragic outcome of that call haunts him to this day.
Shortly after that, Steve was fired from a municipal department because he participated in forming a new, firefighters union. Despite being a capable firefighter with a reasonable desire to organize firefighters for the betterment of all involved, he was terminated without any semblance of a process.
These two experiences coupled early in his career, laid the foundation for the relentless passion he has for service delivery and the advocacy of our membership. He learned early on how the perils of inadequate departments and a toxic workplace can impact the ability of firefighters to fulfill their oath to protect our communities.
He vowed to make things better in any way he could and has done so immeasurably throughout his career. A passionate, principled and sometimes even fierce leader, his wisdom and vision always lead to solutions that were creative, successful and equitable. The environment and leadership he has brought to Local 493 has been crucial to building upon our historical success.
Steve will now focus on the other passions of his life: his beautiful family, delicious doughnuts and relentless pursuit of catching the wave of a lifetime.
The United Phoenix Firefighters and Phoenix Fire Department will be forever grateful for his service and the unparalleled example he set in his career. We wish he and his family the very best of luck in a well-deserved retirement.