VFD firefighters hang up their helmets - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

VFD firefighters hang up their helmets

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Major road project takes a step forward

    Major road project takes a step forward

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-04-23 04:02:45 GMT
    Lee County Commissioners are close to approving a route for a major road project that will connect the east and west parts of the county. Tuesday night, they heard from Georgia Tech engineers who studiedMore >>
    Lee County residents will soon have the chance to give their opinions on a major road project.More >>
  • City leaders approve new rules for model airplanes

    City leaders approve new rules for model airplanes

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:59 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:59:14 GMT
    Albany city commissioners approve new rules for model airplanes.      Following complaints from some people who live near Hilsman Park a citizen's advisory committee spent months studying the issue andMore >>
    Albany city commissioners approve new rules for model airplanes.      Following complaints from some people who live near Hilsman Park a citizen's advisory committee spent months studying the issue andMore >>
  • Voters hear from candidates at forum

    Voters hear from candidates at forum

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:56 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:56:54 GMT
    Voters heard from more than a dozen political candidates at a forum Tuesday night hosted by the Albany Civil Rights Institute. People running in Dougherty County Commission, Dougherty County School BoardMore >>
    Days before early voting opens, candidates for several races in Dougherty County get together to try earn voters' support.More >>
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

After a combined 60 years of service, two Valdosta firefighters spent their last day on the job Thursday.

Lieutenants Joe Stansel and Ronnie Metts have battled fires in Valdosta for 30 years each, and they've seen a lot of changes.

For more than 30 years these two firefighters Lt. Joe Stansel and Lt. Ronnie Metts have been fighting fires, but now they're retiring. Lt. Joe Stansel says when he woke up Thursday morning he couldn't believe he was putting on his uniform for the last time.

"The first major fire was Valdosta High School 1977. It was almost my last because the ceiling fell in in the auditorium,"  Stansel said.

He's had some close calls like many firefighters but it's never stopped him from loving his job.  "I can honestly say in 34 years, I've enjoyed coming to work everyday," Stansel said.

He and Lt. Metts have battled thousands of fires and at first they didn't use oxygen tanks to protect themselves from smoke.

"When I first came to the fire service, we didn't wear air packs like you see us wearing now. We had to eat smoke," said Stansel.

Lt. Metts recalls how difficult the engines were to drive. "You really had to be a big strong guy to handle the trucks. It was manual shifters and heavy clutches."

Having all these years of experience under his belt he has some advice for young firefighters.

"Stay with it," said Metts. "Stay focused. It's a serious job."

Throughout the years they've watched the profession evolve from when they started in the late 1970s.

Lieutenants Joe Stansel and Ronnie Metts have big plans after retiring. Stansel says he's planning a trip out west and Metts, a carpenter says he plans to fix up his house.

 

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

Powered by WorldNow