May 9, 2011
Most people in their 70's are enjoying retirement and playing with their grand kids, but not Garnett Taylor. He has more important things to do, like volunteering with the Gordonsville Fire Company.
“It's important to be able to help other people in the situation that are not able to help themselves,” said Taylor.
The 77-year-old firefighter has more than a half century of service to his community. For 55 years, Taylor has responded to fires all over the area, ranging from a flower shop on Main Street to an estate that went up in flames just off Route 15.
“I drove the engine down there and operated the pumps."
After looking at photos 40 and 50 years old, he recalls all the fires he's fought and how much things have changed since the 1960's.
“The equipment that we had was very limited. We had a few helmets that we shared, no turn out coats and pants and no boots. Whatever you had on when you left home to answer the fire call was what you had on,” explained the Gordonsville resident.
Over the years, Taylor has watched the equipment evolve, put out hundreds of fires and saved many lives, but he doesn't think of himself as a hero.
“It's everybody. It's not a me thing. It's a we thing, a team thing. It takes a whole team to get the job done."
Taylor plans to be a part of that team as long as he's able. In 2016 the fire department will celebrate 100 years of service. He hopes to be there when that day comes.