Sunday, May 27, 2012

More Older Guys Stuff

Following on the thread of some of my earlier posts about the War Horses of the Challenge, I want to do a shout out for our senior citizens. This weekend, here in Farmer’s Branch I was talking to one of the firefighters who was helping us reset the course. He told me that they (the Farmer’s Branch FD) used a version of the course as a condition of employment test. He disclosed that he was 61 and was rightfully proud that he routinely passed the test, remarking, “When I can’t do this, it’s time to hang it up.” 

Jack (C) with another venerable +60, Ted Overcash (R)
That kind of honesty and maturity is refreshing. It’s also inspirational. I mean, what kind of an excuse can you muster as a 20-something year old and you’re flailing away, barely out of recruit school?

In the spirt of rewarding our long-term, loyal seniors, we’re making a policy change; no registration fee for individuals over 60. Jim Key, retired from Austin, but still actively training new firefighters is the first beneficiary of this new rule. Another benefactor will be Chuck LeBlanc who only last week conducted the first Good To Go (G2G) program in New England.

We’ll write more about the G2G Program in the not too distant future, but G2G is designed to prepare firefighters to perform their job more safely by increasing their tolerance for the sometimes arduous assignments associated with a working fire. 

In this same column, it’s appropriate to send a shout-out to Jack Hickey who just retired after 36 years from St. John’s Regional in Newfoundland Labrador. Better known as “Lord of the Rings,” Jack may have hung up his Division Chief’s radio, but he’s not out yet. While he’s been disqualified as a retiree in Canada, you’ll see him here in the U.S. in his bunker gear in an upcoming event. 

Last week in Charleston, I was listening to the crowd response when Mike Word announced that Bill Pietrantonio, racing on a tandem team was 63. People around me were in disbelief. 

If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you were? 

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