Lawrence Fire Department chief retires after 35 years


City of Lawrence Fire Department Chief Dino Batalis was presented with a retirement flag and badge Dec. 20, marking the conclusion of his 35 years of service to the community.

According to an announcement from the city, Batalis joined LFD in 1988 as a volunteer firefighter and was hired on as a professional firefighter in 1991.

He was promoted to lieutenant in 1998 before becoming a battalion chief. In 2010, he held dual roles as battalion chief and deputy chief until 201, when he became chief under then-Mayor Paul Ricketts. After Mayor Steve Collier was elected, Batalis was retained as chief.

Batalis was a part of the 9/11 Run that the Lawrence Fire Department organized following the terrorist attacks in 2001. More than 50 firefighters and police officers ran to New York within five days to benefit the families of 9/11 victims. They raised more than $300,000.

According to the city, when he was a volunteer, Batalis founded the Needy Family Fund. The name has since changed to the Firefighters Family Assistance Fund. In the beginning, the fund helped families during the holidays, and it has grown to be a year-round program that provides families with groceries, beds, gas and, sometimes, utility payments.

Batalis was the first in his family to join the fire service, as most of his family background is in law enforcement. He has certifications in Instructor II/III, Fire Officer III, EMT, Public Safety Diver and Emergency Vehicle Operator Course Instructor.

According to the city, when he’s not spending time with his wife of 42 years, Batalis enjoys golf, traveling, yard work and cruises. He also has two adult daughters.

“As Chief Batalis embarks on a well-deserved retirement, we express our deepest gratitude for his service and wish him and his family all the best in the next chapter,” the announcement stated.

Batalis also was honored during the Dec. 20 Lawrence Common Council meeting.