Many firefighters have mixed emotions about their retirement from the fire department.
Being a firefighter is not just a job, it is an integral part of their life and a second family. Leaving family, even for good reasons, can be a difficult transition. After the transition, life can prove to be an awesome adventure.
Jason Jones, a freelance photographer, is a neighbor and friend of retired firefighter, Joe Rush. Jason attended Joe’s retirement ceremony and was taken by surprise at the brotherhood (the one we all know and love) firefighters have together. He asked Joe to come to his studio for a short interview and to take some candid photos of Joe with his guitar. Joe is an inspiration to younger firefighters.
Joe shows us all that retiring can be a new exciting experience, something to look forward to.
How long did you survive with Speedway Fire Department?
I served 32 ½ years as a firefighter, retiring in July of 2013.
What is one of your most memorable fire/rescue runs?
My most memorable fire was at International Village, June 20th, 2009. I was involved in a backdraft where I was blown down two flights of stairs. Two of my fellow firefighters covered me with their bodies and then dragged me out to the ambulance. Thankfully, I was ok, and I had no medical injuries.
The one rescue I will always remember was in the 2000 block of North Lynhurst Drive. We arrived to find a gentleman in full cardiac arrest. We started working on him before the medics arrived. When we helped load him into the ambulance and transport him to the hospital, we didn’t even know if he was alive. Six weeks later, he came walking into the firehouse thanking us for saving his life. He told us that he was retiring from his career.
Name one of your favorite meals and recipes from the firehouse
One of my favorite meals from the firehouse is fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, dinner rolls, and a 2-liter of Coke.
Have you picked up any hobbies after retirement?
I picked up two new hobbies after retirement. I golf weekly, and play the guitar.
Do you have any advice on maintaining a healthy firefighter marriage?
The secret to a great firefighter marriage is learning how to manage two families and join them together as a whole family. All firefighters watch their fellow firefighters’ children grow up. Both families become one large family.
Joe’s smile teaches us how life can bring us unexpected happiness…even during our retirement years.