Page has been Farmington fire chief for eight years

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FARMINGTON — Unlike some who take on the job, Farmington's retiring fire chief said he didn't grow up wanting to be a firefighter. He said he stumbled into the career when a friend convinced him to take the test to become a firefighter.

"I'm glad he was persistent," said Fire Chief Terry Page, who leaves at the end of the month after more than 20 years fighting fires and eight years in the top job.

Page said he took over as chief during some of the worst financial times and he worked to grow the department and improve it within a limited budget.

An upcoming segment of Mayor Tommy Roberts' "Mayor's Table" online video series will focus on Page and his time at the Farmington Fire Department. "The Mayor's Table" videos are released every Monday and can be viewed at fmtn.org.

Page grew up in Southern California and attended Oregon State University before moving to the Four Corners area. He said he enjoyed the outdoor opportunities in Oregon, but struggled with the weather. After graduating, he wanted to move somewhere with outdoor recreation that did not have Pacific Northwest weather.

"This just became home," he said.

Page said being a firefighter was an easy fit for him because he came from a sports background. He had played football in college.

"The organization operated just like a big sports team," Page said.

Page said the people who work at the fire department make it a special place and firefighters learn to rely on each other.

"You really develop a bond that's different, I think, than a lot of other occupations," he said.

Page said the Farmington Fire Department has a lot of talented people.

"We're stacked so deep with talent right now than it's better than any time," he said.

His advice to the next fire chief is: "come in with an open mind. Get to know the people and get to know the community."

With his youngest child getting ready to graduate high school, Page is ready to enter the next stage in his life. He said he always heard people say "you'll know when it's time."

Page said he thinks change in leadership could be beneficial for the fire department.

"I feel like I've accomplished what I came to do," he said.

Page plans on starting a new career. He is not sure what this next step will be, or whether he will remain in Farmington.

"I'm excited for whatever comes next," Page said.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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