Packing Up…Station Moves and Retirements

It seems that as we prepare to wrap up another year, the next one we are about to welcome will be much different. This isn’t much out of the ordinary, but there will be a change of scenery for myself and several others. Since my hire date, I have been assigned to B-shift, but have moved stations quite a bit. It seems that every department is different when it comes to station assignments, and there is no right or wrong answer. I have met a few guys out of the bigger cities that may work at the same firehouse every day of their career. I know of a few others that typically make moves only due to promotions or requests. We, however, have a tradition that the majority of the personnel rotates shifts every year. The idea can be argued either way, but this is to keep the firefighters at slower stations on their game, give firefighters at busy stations a break, help the crew learn a new zone, different streets to learn, etc.

Does the saying jack of all trades and master of none come to mind? That’s what I’ve often heard while explaining to others the way the moves take place on an annual basis, typically. I personally think there are pros and cons to many of the different ways that departments carry out station assignment, but this is the way we do ours.

st1As the new year comes in, I will be moving my uniforms and bed-roll down to headquarters. I have been stationed there before, actually 3 of my 6 years on the job. While it is headquarters, I am looking forward to working with some of the guys that I haven’t been riding the engine with in a while. Another benefit is that we operate an Engine, a Ladder, a Rescue Engine, and a Chief unit out of the station. Since there are more firefighters there, it means company in the gym working out, firehouse cooking, etc.  We aren’t specifically assigned to any specific apparatus as tailboard firefighters, so this typically changes frequently. I am also looking forward to helping the guys with a few projects that they have already started planning.

Station 2 will be missed. My crew. My new Engine. My station. We definitely had a great year together, and reality is, I will probably still get to work out of the station when we are above minimum personnel. This may happen a few times in January before all vacations and holidays start. My crew helped me through a lot during the last year though. Personal and professional. We were able to tackle quite a few projects around the station, and I am sure that the pride will be carried on.

Among the changes, we have three dedicated members of our Department and my shift that are retiring this week. These three brothers have all taught me something during my years on shift with them. I have worked with each of them on numerous occasions while filling in at their stations, and while they may be the only ones looking forward to the “PARTY,” there is no doubt that our department is losing a wealth of knowledge, experience, and skills.

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With over 29 years of service, Engineer Woody Davis and Captain John Haynie will retire on December 26th.

Also, with over 32 years of service, Captain Troy Hood is looking forward to his retirement, which will also be on December 26th.

All three of these men have dedicated much of their adult life to the fire service. Each of them has their own niche that they have found during their many years on the job. Cpt, Haynie is a Captain Paramedic that has also served on the Technical Rescue Team for a number of years. Cpt. Hood has been a Team Leader for our Hazardous Materials Team for a number of years. Engineer Davis has also served as a Paramedic and a member of the Haz-Mat team.They have each risked their lives, been witness to many terrible situations, and played a very vital role in protecting the community. I would like to wish all of them the best in their retirement. Especially to Davis…

hogwartsWoody Davis has been a very important member of our team for a number of years. When it comes to telling jokes, goofing off, and not paying attention, he was definitely the GO TO GUY! He is one that if you decide to fire one back at him, you might as well get ready for him to return with more. While Davis is retiring from the fire service, he is not settling in to requirement quite yet. Davis has already been accepted to the Hogwarts to retire and pursue his interests in magic and wizardry. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.