AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Amarillo Fire Department recently discovered three of its rookies have a history dating back to the 1970s.
A day in the life of an Amarillo Firefighter rookie starts early.
“We all got here around six o’clock this morning,” said AFD Rookie Jacob Romero. "[We] cleaned up our duties that we needed to clean up as far as the truck room and our training room over there. And we check off our trucks, we go for a run up the tower get a little workout in in the mornings and then we’re studying and practicing skills.'
It also comes with a cross to bear.
“There’s a lot of pressure,” said AFD Rookie Alex Spielbauer. “We want to prove ourselves and make sure they know we can do the job.”
A job they are proud to do, as it’s a long-standing family tradition.
In fact, Romero, Spielbauer and another AFD rookie Jered Meeks recently discovered all three of their grandfathers who served with the Amarillo Fire Department were stationed at the same place together nearly 50 years ago.
“I saw it in a year book from 1973 from the fire department,” said Meeks. “We were at station four, and just happened to have the yearbook out and noticed all of our grandfathers all together [working the] same shift at the same station.”
The same station the three of them are at today.
“I feel honored to have the privilege to do this,” said Meeks. “To carry on the tradition that’s been a part of my family.”
“I always looked up to my granddad,” said Romero. “He was always like a father figure to me and just a great man. So I think it just kind of emulated him in that position and that’s what drove me to want to do it.”
They’re not the only ones carrying on a tradition. Many firefighters have family who also serve in the department, which is what makes their bond all the more special.
“It’s very family oriented and family based,” said Meeks. “The fire department is a big family, so it’s real neat. A lot of people have a long history with the department.”
“You have to be able to trust the people working next to you and know that they have your back and you have their back as well,” he said.
Romero echoed that statement, saying he’s now in a role he’s always respected.
“I think that that is part of it,” said Romero. “Just the comradery between the guys and being a part of something bigger than yourself.”