Firefighter honored for 50 years of service

Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Gene Buchanan, third from left, was awarded Tuesday for his 50 years of service as a volunteer firefighter. Larry Ketchem, president of Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association, left, Richard Wood, fire chief and Roger Wright, assistant fire chief, far right, presented Buchanan with a certificate.

Gene Buchanan has been a volunteer firefighter for 50 years. He was awarded Tuesday night at the Floyd Township Fire Station for his years of service.

"He is a good asset to the department," said Fire Chief Richard Wood.

Buchanan was instrumental in the Floyd Township Fire Station adopting carbon monoxide training for its firemen.

Following a fire at Van Bibber last year, several responders were taken to Putnam County Hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning, said Jeff Purcell.

Buchanan provided Purcell with some information on carbon monoxide poisoning to help better prepare responders in the future.

He has witnessed tragedy, but among the disasters is the memory of saving two lives with CPR.

Buchanan has been an Emergency Medical Technician Defibrillation and the assistant fire chief in New York.

Fighting fires runs in his blood and family. Buchanan is originally from upstate New York, where his grandfather founded the Hill Crest, N.Y. Fire Company in 1917.

His father was a firefighter and his mother a 60-year member of the fire auxiliary in New York. His childhood was spent attending events at the fire station, parades for the fire department and even accompanying his parents on fire calls.

Buchanan remembers at the age of four riding a horse-drawn steamer engine. It was equipped with a boiler, which was stoked to produce water.

"The fire department comes above all his interests," said his sister, Dorothy McGinnis. "It is all we've know."

When Buchanan is not manning the phones at the fire station or helping at a scene, he is gardening or making pickles.

In addition, he is a railroad enthusiast. He knows the history and where every railroad is located.

His significant other of 10 years, Wanda Bush said, "Within one month of moving to the area, he knew where all the railroads were located."

Buchanan met Bush when her refrigerator quit working. He was the repairman who fixed it.

Buchanan was a service technician for Sears in New York for 35 years. He started his own business, Gene Buchanan Appliance Repair, 15 years ago and retired last year. He has the ability to fix freezers, washers, dryers and even humidifiers.

"If he could fix it over the phone, he would," Bush said.

Buchanan hopes to be a volunteer firefighter for another 10 years.

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  • Congratulations!!!!

    You are the kind of person who we love to hear good news about.

    My late husband was a firefighter and once it gets in your blood, it is always there.

    -- Posted by Taxpayer5253 on Fri, Dec 5, 2008, at 6:33 AM
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