My Dad 1941 Buffalo, N.Y. F.D.
Robert M. Guy Sr.
1911 - 1995

My Hero My Dads Fire Badge Buffalo FD #1043
His Fire Badge #1043
My Dad
 
Flag at Halfmas

     My Dad was born Robert Martin Guy, in Buffalo N.Y. on June 28th, 1911. He was in his thirties for WWII he was not called up, plus he worked in the shipyards. He was working for the Buffalo N.Y. Fire Department. From 1942 - 44. He then had to leave, quit, his first love Fire Fighting. He got a job with the N.Y. Central Rail Road as an electrician because like everyone else at that time, he needed a better income to raise a family which totaled 5.
     I remember back in the early 50's when he would take us kids, there were four of us then, to the different fire stations in the city and visit with his old fire buddies. We got what I thought then was extra special treatment around the fire house. Little did I know then that was how they treated all visitors and especially kids. Sometimes he would take us all the way downtown to the waterfront to see the lake ore/grain carrying freighters coming and going from the steel/grain mills. The best part of the day was when we would visit the Fire Boat. I remember once that we got to use the big water guns it carried. I knew then that one day I too would be a Fire Fighter. I always ran to the corner of Montclair and Leroy to watch as the fire trucks screamed by going to a fire.

     When I graduated from Bennett H.S. 1965. I received my draft notice to join the Army. Dad was proud that I would be the second of his sons to join the military. Being the wise old fox that he was, he got me to go see the Air Force recruiter, and join the A.F. He felt that I would have less chance of going to Viet Nam that way. I had already lost one of my best friends over there. So I did. I spent eight years in the A.F. before getting out. The first couple places I went looking for work were the phone company and a tower construction co. As that was what I did for five years in the A.F. Last three were in aircraft maint. on B-52s and KC-135 air refueling tankers. Phone company wasn't hiring nor was the construction co. On the last day of my enlistment I went to the jobs placement office at McCoy A.F.B. Orlando Fl where I was last assigned and was being discharged from. On the bulletin board was a small sheet of white paper with the words, "Come join a elite group, The Winter Park F.D." I took it down and went there as fast as I could. I was hired without any fire fighting experience at all. I called dad and told him. "WOW" was his only words. I could tell he was proud once more. I was going to be doing what he wanted for the last 20 some years. I was a fire fighter. It hit me then and there it was what he wanted me to do all along. My dad and mom in Tennessee

     After 30 some years on the N.Y. Central Rail Road he finally retired and uprooted my Mom after 40 years in the same house. They moved to Tullahoma Manchester Tennessee area. Actually it was called Hickerson Station after the local school. Not living in either of the towns they had to pay a charter fee of $150 a year for fire protection from one or the other. Without it they would only respond if someone was inside or injured. He was there about six months when a strange thing happened. At least strange to him. A car caught fire not 100 yards from his house on their road. He called the fire department and told them what, where and all that other stuff. Well when they got on the scene they refused to put out the car fire as no one was in it. They did put out the grass fire in the pasture they protected.

     He was dumbfounded, as the car owner was not from the area and was not paying for protection. To him it was a fire needing to be put out. Along with some neighbors they did just that. Then they talked about it and before you knew it they had their own volunteer fire department.
From a newspaper clipping from the Tullahoma newspaper:Hickerson Station Fire Unit Formed
The new volunteer fire department at Hickerson Station community, located between Manchester and Tullahoma. The department has a $9000 fire engine and two survival breathing units, costing $500 each. The engine housed at Tullahoma Freight Co. has had $3000 of equipment added to it Coffee County has given the department $5000 for its operation and the department has borrowed $12,000 to purchase the engine and additional equipment.
They were the Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Department. A very nice lady Mrs. Pittenger donated 1 acre of land to build a two-bay station.
Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Department
from left:, front row, Bill Brown, Curtis Millaway,
2nd row, Danny Davis, Albert Whitmire, Glenn W. Dillehay, Bob Guy (my dad), Harold Daniel, Ken Pippenger and Ray Whitmire,
3rd row, Paul Hogan Fire Chief, & Kenneth Millaway Assistant Chief

H.S.V.F.D. Update 2001

Hickerson Station Volunteer Fire Station My Dad in the engine


   Coffee County gave them a E-One mini pumper. With equipment donated by the surrounding city departments they were ready.
     The county sent them to classes and before you knew it they were fighting their own fires, and aiding the cities around them. This was when he was retired from the R.R. approx. 67 years of age. Below are newspaper photos of him at a fire at 78 years of age.


Dad at 78 years of age WOW Dad at 78 years of age WOW


   On several occasions when either myself and/or my brothers and sisters were there visiting we would all get a chance to respond to a fire of some kind on the truck with him. He was happy and enjoying life there.


     My mom was told she had cancer again, for the second or third time I don't really remember, and that she had 6 maybe 9 months to live. She told the Dr.'s they were nuts. She had two years and so many days left. You see she wanted to be there for their 50th wedding anniversary. The Dr.'s said they were sorry but there was no way. Ha. They didn't know ma. Two years came and went. She was still with us, not in very good shape but still able to do almost anything she wanted. She got her strength from dad, he was nurse, doctor and husband all at one time. April came that year and she did it. Her and dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. That July she died.


      Dad went on with the fire department and on his 80th birthday the fire department gave him a grand party. It was an open house at the station for everyone and anyone to come celebrate his 80th. Nearly the whole town came to say hello and thank you. Over 1000 people at last count. Just the day before he was at a house fire doing what he liked most.
     With in a year he had his first stroke. He came back but never the same. I learned how strong he really was. Watching him rehab and after. He was still active but not responding to fires when he had his second stroke in 94. It was the one that did him in. He died in October 1995. When we were all gathered at my sisters in Tullahoma (she was living there taking care of him), The fire Chief came by and asked if we would like a truck in the funeral procession. We all cried knowing he was going out in style. The next thing we knew there were approx.. 10 to 14 units from all the surroundings fire departments wanting to help lead him to his Final Alarm.

Dad's Last ride
Dad's Last ride

   I guess I will always remember the things he taught me. As I have now taught my daughters and son many of those lessons. Now I am working on teaching them to my grandchildren, all three of the girls.

   Never let time go by with out telling your dad or mom that you love them and say "Thank You for the lessons."

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