Firefighter History

Firefighter58

Senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
543
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2014
Country
CA
State
Ontario
Hello friends, many of you know me and know that I was a firefighter with the City Of Mississauga for 40 years give or take a week or two, and many of you know that I was diagnosed with ALS about 5 years ago, but what many of you don’t know was that I was also involved it the towing industry for about 50 years until ALS forced me to retire.
I tell you this because I will be posting some pictures and stories over the next couple of months and you should know some of my history for these to make any sense.
I started working for John Bedford when I was about 15 years old, John owned a service station in Lakeview at the corner of Northmount Ave. and the South Service Road, it was call Dixie Flash and that is were my towing interest started, the first call I went on was to Lakeshore Rd at Ogden Ave. where a well known Lakeview resident rear ended a buss, his car was a wreck and I towed to the Flash, this was just shortly before I got my drivers license.
I worked for John for a few years part time as I was still in school and when I turned 18 I applied for a job with the Fire Department and was accepted much to the shargrin of my parents and Joe Miller the Fire Chief, how did this happen? You ask, I will tell you.
From the time I had my first bike I chased the fire truck and because my father was a Lakeview fire fighter the men on the department all knew me and knew I wanted to be a Firefighter. A few years earlier Chief Braithwaite had seen me rolling hose at a fire at the restaurant at Dixie Plaza an he said, when you are old enough come see me I will give you a job.In 1967 I applied, my parents wanted me to go back to school get a university degree of some sort and then apply to the department and they had told this to Joe Miller the Fire Chief, Joe agreed, so when I went for my interview Joe said no, and told me that he and my parents agreed that I needed more education and because I was only 18 I was too young. I was totally disappointed as I walked down the stairs at the old Cooksville fire hall that was then the Headquarters Of Township Of Toronto Fire Department where I met the retired Chief Jack Braithwaite who was really still in charge as Joe was a new Chief and on probation. Jack said to me “well mister Thompson what brings you here”So I told him and then he asked how did you make out? And I said not good, he asked why, and I told him. He turned and taking the stairs two at a time said we will fuckin see about that. Three weeks later I got a letter telling me to start July 1 1967, I finished high school the end of June 1967. That is how I became the youngest full time firefighter in Canada. Now young people could be hired on but they remained a cadet until they turned 21 but I could progress through the ranks with wages to match the rank structure by the time I was 21 I was a first class firefighter and paid first class wages.

Al
 

mytmouz

Active member
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
44
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
07/2019
Country
US
State
MS
Nice write up. I used to be in the auto collision industry and drove a tow truck at that time. After the first few rows, the novelty definitely wore off, as this was pre rollback days...
 

Firefighter58

Senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
543
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2014
Country
CA
State
Ontario
Nice write up. I used to be in the auto collision industry and drove a tow truck at that time. After the first few rows, the novelty definitely wore off, as this was pre rollback days...
Ya after a few years I became bored and got into heavy towing and that is where I stayed
Al
 
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