I know many of you guys will remember this man who ran at Engine 29. He was smart, a good Firefighter, and a ton of fun to spend a day in the fire hall with. When I ran with him he was studying law at a local university. His name was John. During his studies there came a point where the University allowed pre law students to assist poor people in traffic court. They were not paid but were there to gain experience. John told me he was assigned to defend an old crotchety black man who had been caught driving 30 mph in a 25mph zone. The old man was under the assumption the city had given him a public defender. Anyhow John lost the case and the complaining old man had to pay a fine. A month later we had a run to a car fire. When we pulled up John came off the rig and proceeded to put the fire out. As we started to pick up line I heard a loud commotion. An old black man was waving his arms and swearing at John. Our Captain stepped in to find out what was going on. The old man was fuming. He told our Captain the city had screwed him by assigning a dumb Firefighter to defend him in court. The old man wanted John to reimburse him for the fine. We quickly picked up our gear and left the scene. We never did convince the old man the truth of the situation. John eventually left the Fire Service and became a successful attorney. Years later he told me his years with the Fire Department were the best part of his life.

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"Fire Horses" book authored by firefighter R.J. Haig.


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