Retiring WA Volunteer Firefighter, 82, Reflects on Change in the Fire Service

A recent report from the Bellingham Herald looked back on the firefighting career of Ron Swanson, who has been a volunteer firefighter with the former Whatcom County Fire District 2 since 1967.

The report looked at changes Swanson had witness over the years in the fire and emergency services, including the development and integration of emergency medical service, the use of 911 to report emergencies, and more.

“What better way to get in the community and get to know people and help people,” Swanson told reporters during an interview at the current Geneva station. “It’s been rewarding.”

Swanson, 82, retired last month after 51 years as a firefighter.

Swanson noted that interior firefighting was a rarity earlier in his career. “We laid hose and that’s about all we could do,” he said. “Other than that, it was just stand in the front door and spray water as far as you could. We didn’t have the equipment like we do today.”

Read more about his career HERE.


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