Recreational Safety Coordinator Harland Hitchings Retires After 42 Years

ArrayDecember 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

After 42 years of service as a Recreational Safety Coordinator covering Washington and Hancock counties, Harland Hitchings will retire from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on January 3, 2015. During his years at IFW, Harland delivered safety education courses, and recruited and trained a large contingent of volunteer instructors while working with many sponsoring clubs and schools to ensure the availability of programs. One of Harland’s greatest interests over the years has been to oversee safety training at Greenland Point Center’s Conservation Education Program. The program offers hunter and boater education to 100 – 200 youth campers  each year.   Every season Harland would train new staff to assist with teaching safety courses to the campers.  He would also oversee the range activities at camp to ensure the students had a safe and thorough introduction to firearms use. Hired in 1973 by Safety Officer Gary Anderson, Harland has logged thousands of miles and countless late nights and long weekends during his tenure. Thousands of students from multiple generations have participated in classes that he either taught or assisted with. He always worked diligently to see that the highest quality of training was provided and to implement curriculum changes as they occurred. [caption id="attachment_478" align="aligncenter" width="648"]Harland Hitchings Retirement Harland Hitchings received a Commissioner's Recognition Print from Commissioner Chandler Woodcock at a recent celebration honoring his 42 years of service as a Recreational Safety Coordinator.[/caption] After graduation in 1941 Harland served for 13 years as a game warden patrolling in the Topsfield area. During his tenure, he also served as a pilot. He then went into private sector employment making his home in Princeton, where he resides to this day. At 92 years “young”, Harland is still sharp as a tack and looking forward to assisting with future safety classes in the area and at Greenland Point Center. On Friday, November 21, the Recreational Safety Unit staff, Warden Service members from Division C and Commissioner Woodcock honored Harland at the Bangor headquarters by presenting him with a plaque for service, a commissioner’s print, a monetary gift, and refreshments. His commitment to the department will be remembered for years to come.