After more than 30 years with the Benicia Fire Department, Captain Carl Lunsted has announced his retirement. A farewell party will be held on Friday, Feb. 15.
Lunsted moved to Benicia from Vallejo in 1974 and joined the Benicia Junior Volunteer Fire Department when he was just 14 years old, according to the City.
The City of Benicia shared Lunsted's story this week:
In the summer of 1980, he worked as a seasonal firefighter with the California Department of Forestry, and then attended Solano Community College, completing the Fire Academy and EMT training in the spring of 1981. After working for both the East Contra Costa County Ambulance Service and Medic Ambulance Service, in 1983 Captain Lunsted was hired as a Firefighter with the Benicia Fire Department. He was promoted to Engineer in June 1985 and then to Captain in January 1998. In 1996, Carl was also the Benicia Fire Department’s recipient of the Solano County Rotary Club’s Career Firefighter of the Year Award. For the past several years, Carl has also been in charge of our fire vehicle fleet, with responsibility ranging from routine maintenance to purchasing new vehicles. In total, Captain Lunsted has served the City of Benicia for 37 years, 7 as a volunteer and 30 as an employee of the department. Carl is currently our most senior member of the department and serves as a role model for all.
Captain Lunsted is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Julie, in retirement. He has two sons, Kyle (26) who lives in Vacaville and is an Engineer with Cal Fire at the Greenwood Ranch Station, and son Sean (23) who is preparing to graduate from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor’s Degree in criminology and a minor in math. Captain Lunsted’s stepson, Michael McPherson (26), lives in Boise Idaho and has just completed his service with the United States Air Force, including two tours in Iraq.
When Captain Lunsted was asked about his ties with Benicia, he replied, “Benicia has always been a huge part of my life, it is my “home town” and I have many relatives and friends that have or still live here.” At Captain Lunsted’s farewell party scheduled for Friday, February 15th, the Benicia Fire Department will thank Captain Lunsted for his 30 years of dedicated service, and will wish him much happiness in his retirement.