John “Mike” Croteau, Chief (Ret.) Newbury Fire Department
Chief John “Mike” Croteau was nominated by the Newbury Town Administrator Dennis J. Pavlicek, Fire Chief Henry Thomas and the Newbury Fire Department.
Chief Croteau is a native and lifelong resident of Newbury. Chief Croteau started working at the Newbury Fire Department in 1945 at 15 years of age, a mere 70 years ago. At that time, his dad was the fire chief, and Chief Mike’s main responsibility was to make sure that the cinders from the trains going to and from the Concord to Claremont line bringing tourists to Lake Sunapee didn’t catch the blueberry bushes on fire.
While working for the Newbury Fire department all those years, continuing on through the ranks to become the Newbury Fire Chief, just as his dad was, Chief Croteau was also a longtime employee of the State of NH Department of Transportation where he worked as an engineer. Chief Croteau also served in the position as Forest Fire Warden, with many people believing he knew “Smokey” when he was just a young bear!
Chief Croteau’s experience as an Engineer came into play whenever any town building work needed to be done, the Town called upon Mike to do the site work and designs.
Chief Croteau has been very involved with fundraising for the Fire Department. You could find Chief Croteau calling out numbers for many years as the Department held bingo during the summers, as well as doing whatever was necessary to make it a success. In recent years, the department holds an annual auction with Chief Mike stepping up to help out as a runner.
Forty years in a profession is an amazing feat, but seventy years makes Chief Croteau a legend. Chief Croteau has been an active Newbury Firefighter for seven decades, and is out every day with the department going on calls.
Chief Croteauu has volunteered for many town groups, boards, activities, and pitches in when something needs to be done.
Chief Croteau really enjoys sharing his stories and experiences with new members of the department. His easygoing manner is reassuring to his fellow firefighters when they need him. He is definitely a role model to all the new members. When you think of Chief Mike Croteau, dedication would be one of the first things that come to mind.
It is with great pride that the NH Police, Fire & EMS Foundation presents Chief, John “Mike” Croteau with a 2015 Lifetime Firefighter Achievement Award!