(SUN PHOTOS BY KRISTEN MILLER)
Hopkins Fire Chief Dale Specken celebrated 40 years on the department April 2 with a parade of fire trucks from across the metro area. Fellow comrades, as well as family and friends, surprised Specken by driving through the fire truck bay and honoring his four decades of service. “Totally surprised” and overwhelmed with gratitude, Specken said it was “great to see.” Celebrating 40 years is hard for him to believe. “In some cases, it seems like I just joined,” he said, noting being a firefighter is something he’s always wanted to do. Specken, a Hopkins native, grew up in the fire department, following in his father’s footsteps. In 2005, Specken became the department’s first full-time chief. While retirement is drawing near, Specken would like to get four more years in so he can retire with 20 years as chief, he said.