Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good Luck Lt. Bair, You Will Be Missed...

Lt. Doug Bair at the Paxton No. 6 when we worked together on Tower 3 in 1995. By the way Elton John called he wants his glasses back.
Lt. Bair in 2006 teaching vehicle rescue at Station No. 2.
Lt. Bair and the Skin man working a Hazmat call on Commonwealth Avenue in 2008, gotta love those ears.
The Lt. being himself at HACC in 2007.
The Lt. doing what he really enjoyed, working a job on Labor Day 2008.
Always the class clown, after rowing his boat to shore on the ice covered Italian Lake, training in 2009.

On Tuesday May 25, 2010 Lieutenant Doug Bair retired from the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire. Doug worked for the Bureau for over 31 years, most spent on "B" Shift. He was promoted to Lt. in 1990 and was assigned to Tower 3 "B" at the Paxton before moving to the Squad on "B" shift. He was one of the best firefighters you could ever work with. If you were in trouble you wanted him to be working because if he couldn't get you no one could. Highly decorated the Lt. made many rescues in his career from burning buildings to the Susquehanna river.

On the personal side where do I begin? Doug was that young skinny Lt. that ran marathons when I hired on. He was assigned to my class for three weeks and had us running most days. Boy did I ever curse him out under my breath when we ran up the hills at Reservoir Park, and did I ever laugh when he got struck with a softball right between the legs. We ended up being partners on Tower 3 in the early 90's and took in many memorable jobs together. I remember being the last one with you at the Penndot fire and being along with you when we wanted to close down City Towers one day. We got the last laugh on that one when they had to do it in the dark in below zero weather. We suffered some pain also, like the glass in your back side, to me pulling the board out of you foot after the nail went between the web of your toes that was a classic, you sure could scream. Of course you got to laugh at me like the night I showed up after getting the tooth pulled and we ran all night including two working fires, boy did I scream every time I put that face piece on. There was many other great times like calling Headhog, or the time that the last thing I said to you was just don't wreck my truck, it wasn't long before the building shook and the pole had paint all over it. Sometimes I loved when you jumped calls like the garage fire one daylight on Regina Street leaving the multiple houses off on Catherine Street all to myself, other times I was just annoyed that you would get the fire and I would not .

Not all the funny stories were from work, I remember when we moved you into your new house, with a washing machine full of wet laundry, man was that heavy. And I will never forget you setting at Riverside Stadium with mayflies all over you and in your beer scared to death. For those of you that do not know Doug was scared of all bugs.

I could go on for days about you Doug but I will stop before I get one or both of us in trouble. You leaving leaves me as the last on B shift from the time I came on, I never thought I would see this day come. I felt like I was kicked in the gut when you read us your letter on Monday. We had great times together, I will miss you as a fireman and a friend. Good luck Doug, it will never be the same. I guess you will never call for another second alarm at the incinerator, LOL.

On another note, please stop by Shane's blog for a new post today.


Anonymous said...

Brad, very nice tribute to Doug. He is a great guy and I know you will miss him. Linda

Woody said...

From what Sam and others have told and from what I've heard, LT Bair is one the true legends in Harrisburg. What a loss for the department.

A fine tribute Brad...

Sparky said...

Great story and good luck Doug.

Willard said...

Great story, Brad. I recall when I realized that I was the old man in our Game Lands Maintenance Group and looking back it only seemed a short time since I was the new guy.

bkbair said...

Thanks Brad for the great tribute to Doug. i am very proud of him and even more proud to say i am his wife

Brad Myers said...

Ann, thank you, but it was my pleasure to work with Doug for the last 20 years. I hope he had the chance to read this also and that it brought back fond memories of our days together.