Waco fire brothers retire from squad | State and Regional News | #retirement | #elderly | #seniors
WACO – It takes a special type of person to be a volunteer firefighter, especially in a small community.
Even more special? Siblings serving together for decades.
Gale Wellmann and brother Gordon Wellmann were recently honored by the Waco Volunteer Fire Department for over four decades of service, almost entirely side-by-side.
Gale said he joined in 1975, only a few months after Gordon. Gordon convinced him to sign up for the squad. “It didn’t take much,” Gale said.
Gordon said it was a fairly easy decision for himself as well. “I had a friend who asked me if I’d be interested,” he said. “I just went into one of their meetings and joined.”
Having the trust and friendship of small-town relationships lend themselves to working well together. “You’ve got to know what to do and they guys next needs to know what you’re going to do,” Gordon said.
In 1985, Waco added medical rescue services to the department; Gale signed up. “I kept up with that and that made me have a lot more calls than [Gordon],” he said. While Gale was comfortable with the medical aspect of being a first responder, Gordon was more hesitant. “I’d rather go into the house when it was on fire,” Gordon said. When there was a fire, chances are the brothers were both helping. “In the younger years when we went into fires we were always together,” Gale said.