Growing up with a parent as a firefighter means you will spend countless holidays and birthdays at a fire station hoping to catch a few minutes with your loved one between calls. It means learning about fire trucks and hearing the endless stories about co-workers. It means having an intimate insight into a world most don’t see after the shift has ended. It means stricter rules than your friends because your parents have seen the worst possible things happen to children. And sometimes it means following in your parent’s footsteps and becoming a firefighter yourself.
There is no bigger compliment than when your child wants to be just like you even after they are ten years old. Parents, especially fathers, are often a child’s first hero. But, as the teenage years approach, we all know father heroes are quickly replaced by musicians and athletes.
So, when a child decides to become a firefighter and follow in their parent’s footsteps, it is the ultimate compliment. The fire service has always been rich in families who work together. The torch is passed down from generation to generation. It is a true calling to become a firefighter and when you can share that with your child, it is a gift unlike any other.
Assistant Chief Gary Benson has a son that also works for Glendale Fire.
“It is very exciting to have a son or daughter want to follow your chosen career path,” he said. “I feel very proud. I enjoy seeing him working so hard for our community, it is extremely satisfying, and I feel very close to him since we have the firefighting bond between us.”
While fire departments across the county have hundreds of fathers and sons working together, we have eight fathers and sons upholding that family tradition. And someday maybe one of their sons or daughters will follow in their esteemed footsteps. Happy Father’s Day.