My older brother started in the fire service in 1970. At the time we had 4 boys living in the house with our parents in a small 3 bedroom bungalow. My brother would come home after his shift smelling like smoke and I used to wonder what he got himself into.
He never spoke about his business in the fire service but when some of his firefighter buddies came by the house they always spoke so highly of his leadership and what a great firefighter he was. His quiet demeanour yet strong ability to lead by example is what I believe earned the respect from others.
He became a Captain for many years but suffered a stroke in his 50’s that took him off the trucks. He recovered from the stroke and within a year returned to the fire service as an SCBA technician for 15 yrs. He inspired me to join the service and I was hired in 1989. While I had served some of my 30 yrs I heard nothing but positive comments on what great Captain he was during his time as an Officer.
He inspired me to write my Acting Captaincy and eventually a Training Officer. My brother served 45 yrs in total and is happily retired. He will be 70 yrs old July 14th. I just retired after 30 years and one of my two sons was just hired and served his first shift last week. We owe it to my brother Jim for our perseverance to become firefighters.