Someone to Know: Volunteer Firefighter Gary Smith

While many look forward to retirement so they can relax and enjoy life, one Rockport man who retired from the fire department finds his enjoyment after retirement by continuing to volunteer.

Gary Smith has worked for the Rockport Volunteer Fire Department for 60 years and two weeks, serving in roles from fire chief to chaplain. He said he was brought up in the fire department, and that it runs in the family. He had two uncles before  him who showed him the ropes.

Smith remembers every fire he has fought, every life he saved, and those he could not.

"The saddest, I think, is when seven people who died on the beach," Smith said. "Then the fires. There's been a lot of them. We've had two boat houses burn up. One time there were 13 boats burned up during the night."

His wife of 60 years, Janette, has been his rock.

"I know my wife's sitting by the scanner at home, too, so that makes me feel good," Smith said.

Wise from experience, Smith is always ready to share it with others who want to walk in his footsteps. They are, after all, his family.

"I love them all. When you fight a fire, you stand by each, with them. You know," Smith said. "If something happens to you, there's going to be someone to get you."

That is why Gary Smith is Someone to Know.

If you would like to introduce us to Someone to Know, send an email to with your name and phone number.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment