Local Firefighter Retires After 45 Years

Local Firefighter Retires After 45 Years

The Fort Wayne Fire Department celebrates a colleague of 45 years.

It’s been 45 years and one local firefighter is finally hanging up his boots. Ron Hamm of the Fort Wayne Fire Department says he feels honored to have dedicated his life to helping others.

“I love the job,” said Hamm. “It was one of those things where I knew my heart would be there with it, and that's what I tried to do.”

A love for helping people is what brought Hamm into the profession. Hamm joined the Fort Wayne Fire Department in the year of 1968. Since then he has held multiple positions from combat fighter to fire prevention and the trainer of new recruits.

“There's been a lot of good times and a lot of bad,” He said. “I’ve made a lot of friends over the years and acquaintances. I have seen a lot of changes in 45 years.”

A change Hamm refers to is when a law passed that required a smoke detector to be in every home. This was a turning point for his career.

"One year we had 14 fatalities and 11 of those were kids and by getting the requirement that all the houses had to have smoke detectors, it helped save lives and it was one of those things where we saw the fatality rate go down considerably," said Hamm.

After several 24 hour shifts, his coworkers became family. Even during retirement, its one he will never forget.

"I looked forward to going to work everyday and with that I don’t think there's too many people that can say that they've had jobs like that, that they can say they enjoyed it that much," he said.

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