Larry Tan, who has served New Castle County as a paramedic for 37 years, the past 19 as chief, retired on Friday, October 4, 2019.
Tan was given a walkout ceremony from the county's public safety building, which is traditional in the public safety services.
He admits he couldn't have imagined his career culminating like this.
"Did I ever anticipate I would get to the level that I have, no.
"Certainly to have the opportunity to influence how people are cared for that become suddenly ill or injured in New Castle County to the level that I have, absolutely not."
Joseph Leonetti, Senior Director of Operations at St. Francis Hospital and long time New Castle County volunteer firefighter summed up Tan's career in three main words: "He's brought professionalism and expertise and also compassion."
Tan says he's humbled.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here and to have such an influence over the safety, health and well-being of the people of New Castle County."
He also deferred to the men and women he has led.
"It's one of the reasons why I've absolutely been blessed in this career. To work with people that strive to make a difference for their patients. Find ways to continuously improve and embrace opportunities to make a difference in the field.
"Working with, as I characterize, some of the most caring people in New Castle County. They give of themselves each and every day. They deserve a tremendous amount of respect for what they do and I've been privileged to be a part of that."
Under Tan's leadership, the New Castle County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) achieved several milestones including being the first EMS agency in Delaware to achieve national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) in December 2009.
During his paramedic career he assisted in the development of, and served in, the Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) program that integrates county paramedics with the New Castle County Police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team.
He was also the county medics first ever Public Information Officer.
In 2012, the EMS group held its first annual Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors Reunion. The event offers an opportunity for sudden cardiac arrest survivors to reunite with the responders that contributed to their successful discharge from the hospital.