Always a Firefighter

I recently received a letter from a Firefighter who retired after over 30 years of service. I believe the letter speaks for itself in reflecting the dedication of this man to the Fire service. I hope he does not mind me sharing this heart felt communication with the world. I think Joe Harkins sums up the commitment most of us have to our profession.


Just a note to introduce myself and thank you for the book and the dedication you enclosed in it. I read it from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed it - a great read and full of memories and thoughts that must go through us all when we went to fire calls.

I visited your website and it is now in my favorites folder - getting to the end of my career I can identify with the Wear & Tear aspect of getting older and also, in reading the fire talk about Old Horses, the spirit and emotions of that piece epitomizes the way I felt when I wanted to set up our Retired Employees Association. I have served with the best of men and wanted to ensure that there was some sort of safety net or support network available for them after giving the best years of their lives - to the detriment of their health and families at times.

I think the Fire Service is the best job in the world and it's only when I look back that I find it hard to believe that I have been a firefighter for the past 31 years. Like most of us, we feel privileged to have worked and served the public with guys of that caliber, humor, humility, bravery and compassion and these guys deserve to be helped and kept in touch with each other.

Please feel free to check out our website and in particular our photo archive. We hope to have a video archive soon as well as a magazine archive so there's plenty of room for expansion.

Finally, I have just sent out the latest issue of our magazine Off the Run to all our members and the whole back page is given over to advertising your excellent book so hopefully we'll have some of our members contacting you for copies in the near future.

Thank you once again Bob for your dedication - as you say "once a firefighter always a firefighter" and that is true here as much as in America and all over the world I'm sure.

best wishes

Joe Harkins QFSM
Strathclyde Fire & Rescue
Retired Employees Association
Reg Scottish Charity No SCO 38429
Clarkston Fire Station
Dorian Drive
G76 7NT
0141 638 6486

Have a Happy Holiday and stay safe my brothers and sisters.


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


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