Happy Easter everybody, I hope you all had a wonderful day. I enjoyed the day spending time with family and celebrating the life of Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful day.
On April 1st, 1983 my dad began his career as a paid firefighter. Tomorrow he will celebrate 30 years of service to the citizens of our town. He has been through good times, bad times, all those in between times… you name it. As you read in my previous post he has also had the health issues he has battled. What is most amazing to me though is through it all he has never stopped loving the job and even on the worst days he still showed up.
He began just like all of us, a backwards riding Firefighter, also had his EMT license but that wasn’t really recognized until later on in his career. In the mid to late 80’s he began doing public education for local schools and daycares and became quite involved with that. In the early 90’s, he was promoted to Lieutenant and placed in the admin division as the Public Education Officer.
Over the years he has taught thousands and thousands of children and adults from schools to the workplace about fire and life safety. He has become one of the most famous people in our town. He can still walk through a store and hear people yelling “ Fireman Bruce “.
He still holds the rank of Lieutenant/EMT/Public Education Officer and his duties also now include being the department PIO and we will also say go to man for anything that breaks lol. Usually that has to do with computers or communications equipment though.
As I sit hear tonight and think about it the thing I keep thinking about over and over is in 30 years what have his eyes seen? What has changed in 30 years? And, if there is anything at all that he could change about his career up to this point what would it be and why?
I know if he could remember everything he could write a book a mile long. 30 years of knowledge and experience is priceless. I am still young and beginning my career and I ask him questions every day about the job. I am a sponge right now and I believe that you have to know where your department has been to understand why you are where you are today and make the decisions to lead you into the future.
To all you young guys out there, if there is anybody around your department that has 20-30 years or more on the job you need to asking them every question and learn possible thing you can from them today because tomorrow you will be the guy with 30 years and the rookie will be looking at you saying, “ What all have you seen in 30 years, what has changed?”
Now to the senior guys, teach your rookies everything they need to know. They are looking up to you and depending on you. They are the guys that will be replacing you. You want them to keep your department going strong. You need to leave it better than it was when you began.
30 years… I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for me in the next 30 years of my career. I look forward to every moment I get to be a firefighter!
Dad… congratulations on 30 years of service. With no plans of retiring soon you still get plenty of time to keep teaching me. Thanks for introducing me to the greatest job on earth and I am honored to follow in your footsteps. I hope I make you as proud in my career as I am of you and what you have accomplished in yours.