Volunteer Geary County firefighter retires after 29 years of service

By Michael J. Sellman
Junction City Daily Union – January 31, 2017

Photo by Michael J. Sellman. Geary County Fire Chief Garry Berges (left), Asst. Fire Chief Curt Janke (center) and Firefighter Bob Forman (right). Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Michael J. Sellman. Geary County Fire Chief Garry Berges (left), Asst. Fire Chief Curt Janke (center) and Firefighter Bob Forman (right). Click on photo to view full-size.

Bob Forman became a volunteer firefighter for Geary County after being asked to write a letter to the editor of the Daily Union complaining about the amount of hose on a truck, and the location of fire hydrants.

A response to his letter from the fire chief and sheriff encouraged him to “quit whining” and sign up as a firefighter.

“Sounded like a deal,” Forman said.

After volunteering for 29 years, he decided to retire as of January 1.

“As you get older, the steps on the truck get higher,” he said. “If you can’t be active and not pose a danger to yourself and others, it’s probably about time to back out.”

Looking back on his career, it was years filled with a lot of fun, and many fears as well.

“It makes your heart go fast,” Forman said. “And I highly recommend it for all you younger guys out there. Be active.”

One particular fire he fought almost led to a catastrophe.

Forman was helping in trying to prevent a barn from catching fire by throwing water on it, as fire burned around the structure.

Having successfully saved the barn, the farmer thanked the fire crews, and told them the barn was were he kept his acetylene — a flammable chemical often used as fuel.

His greatest accomplishment in his entire 29 years was backing a fire truck up straight into the garage bay on the first try. And he has a picture of it.

“There was no one there to see it,” he said.

The camaraderie of his fellow firefighters, times he was able to save properties, and doing something for the community are what he’ll miss most of all.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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