Fifty stinkin’ years.
Most of those fighting fires as a Captain, and saving lives as a Paramedic.
Most of those getting up ridiculously early.
Most of those having sleep interrupted, often several times a night, to respond to 911 calls.
Most of those mentoring younger firefighters and paramedics.
Most of those training and supporting Special Ops men and women in the art of collapse rescue.
Most of those in the front, right side “Officer’s Seat” of the fire engine.
And today, being his 50th birthday, as he came onto his shift at the butt-crack of dawn, he was reminded so very well of exactly how much respect he has earned.
Happy Birthday, My Beloved Old Fart! May you have many, many more.
(And may you have an opportunity to get them back!)