Fire Marshal LeRoy McNulty is retiring after more than 31 years with the Lynnwood Fire Department.
McNulty joined the department in October 1979 after 15 years in the grocery business. He says at the time, his passion was emergency medicine.
“I quickly learned that being a firefighter was more of a ‘jack of all trades’ business. Emergency medicine, firefighting, rescue services and hazardous materials mitigation all preceded my time in fire prevention,” he told us.
The next half of his career included fire investigation, public education, inspections and building construction. He even spent time teaching at Edmonds Community College.
In 1994, McNulty became an inspector in the Fire Prevention Bureau, helping to shape Alderwood Mall and the city of Lynnwood as a whole.
He was appointed to Assistant Chief and designated the Fire Marshal in 2006. Under his leadership, the Lynnwood Fire Corps was established.
McNulty has a lot of memories as he looks back on his 31-year career.
“Some of my stories are humorous and others are horrifying, but all are memorable,” he said. “Losing something as precious as family photos or Christmas decorations can have such adverse effects on a family that they may never fully recover.”
Even as a citizen, McNulty says his passion will continue to be fire prevention. “Fire safety through education, preparedness or awareness is a lifelong lesson. I am hoping to advocate part-time now rather than full-time,” he said.
McNulty – whose nickname is “Pinky” — has mixed emotions as he retires.
“I am relieved to be citizen Pinky McNulty, but fearful of losing my identity as Fire Marshal McNulty. I am looking forward to spending time with my wife of 43 years, but I just hope she feels the same,” he said.
Lynnwood Fire Chief Gary Olson had nothing but praise for McNulty.
“Fire Marshal McNulty has had an enormously accomplished 31 year career – for 31 years he has been a self-starter and a pleasure to work with and yes, he does have the ability to turn out good work,” Olson said.
As for the nickname “Pinky,” it was one he earned early in life.
“My older siblings took it upon themselves to come up with a name for the strawberry blond baby in the incubator. In those days they pumped oxygen to newborns and it made their skin very pink and also damaged their eyes. I can only thank my sisters for the name, but people remember who I am once we are introduced,” he said.