|Photo Credit: Jeff Murray / Star Gazette|
Bill Shaw is 86 years old, and still an 'active' member of the Elmira Heights (NY) Fire Department. In fact, he has served on the department for 69 years!
He started when he was in high school, at 17 years old. He was a ladder boy, and was allowed to leave high school to go on calls. He says it was great because he then returned to school as a "big shot!"
Many things have changed over the years. Bill remembers the days when there was little training, no gas masks, less than enough boots and a limited supply of turnout gear. The gear was first-come first-serve. So the first guys to the station got the boots and other equipment.
But he says firefighters today are much better equipped to respond to fires and other emergencies. He would certainly know!
In addition, other firefighters and community members say Bill has been a terrific mentor, great friend, valuable resource and wonderful citizen!
Hats off to Mr Bill Shaw's 69 years of fire service!