Celebration held for retirement of 42-year CFD veteran

Chicago News

CHICAGO — After 42 years on the job, Frank Cambria is retiring from the Chicago Fire Department as Battalion Chief.

“The day is here, it’s hard to believe. I thought I’d never see this day. It came so quick,” Cambria said.

A native of the city’s Canaryville neighborhood, service in the CFD runs in the bloodline, with Cambria’s brothers and father all serving as Chicago firefighters.

Cambria is also known as the last remaining firefighter to have participated in the 1980 CFD strike. Former Commissioner Jose Santiago was a member of Cambria’s class.

“We had to buy our own gear, our own uniform. There was no such thing as OT,” Santiago said.

The union went to battle with Mayor Jane Byrne for 23 days until she surrendered to the department’s demands.

As for Cambria’s future, it isn’t all going to be relaxation.

“I’ll be busy. I have two young kids that play travel hockey, I’ll be an Uber dad,” Cambria said.

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