North Myrtle Beach fire chief to retire next month

North Myrtle Beach Fire Chief Tom Barstow will retire from the department on Feb. 20.

Barstow turned in his letter of resignation on Monday after serving nearly 34 years with the city’s Public Safety Department, the last 18 as chief.

“We’ve known he was retiring for a while,” city spokesman Pat Dowling said. “It was just a matter of when.”

Barstow joined the Public Safety Department as a firefighter in 1980, quickly moving up the ranks to shift captain in 1982 and training captain in 1986, according to a press release.

He was appointed as the city’s fourth fire chief in 1996.