At a time when many people retire from their jobs after twenty-five years, an Albion man has been volunteering his time in the same position for twice that long.
Phil Jacob was honored on February 19 for his fiftieth anniversary with the Albion Volunteer Fire Department. He was one of several long-time firefighters recognized by Governor Holcomb that day at the Indiana State Capitol, with his wife Cindy and several Albion firefighters in attendance.
|That's Phil Jacob on the right, and some guy who works down at the State Capitol on the left.|
Jacob joined the AFD in 1968, at a time when the firefighters were alerted to calls by a party-line type telephone call, and their newest truck was a 1965 Chevy/American LaFrance pumper. Over the years he served many positions on the department, including Captain and Assistant Chief; he was chairman of the AFD’s 125th Anniversary Committee.
|Phil's also one of the guys who still knows how to drive the '29 fire engine.|
But Jacob’s lasting legacy will no doubt be his work as Albion’s Fire Prevention Officer, a position he’s held for more than half the time he’s been on the department. He’s a familiar sight in Albion schools as he spreads the message of fire prevention. In the late 90s he spearheaded a campaign to purchase a mobile learning center, which is available for fire prevention activities around the area. It’s estimated he’s talked to well over 15,000 students and adults, taking the message of saving lives through education to various schools and organizations.
|He leads by doing.|
As a result, he was Albion’s Citizen of the Year in 1998, and won Parkview Hospital’s Good Samaritan Award in 2000.
Phil Jacob’s other legacy is family: Jacob’s father was Fire Chief, and his three sons, Chad, Shawn, and Brad, became members of the department.
|"Don't say I never take my wife anyplace!"|
|"Look, I've been doing this for fifty years, and I'm telling you the fire is THAT way."|
|Phil directs operations back in the 80s, when our Assistant Chief wore a yellow helmet. We've hit it with some bleach since then, and all Chief level helmets are white.|
|Phil's in the bottom row, right in the middle. The gang's all here! I'm Waldo, if Waldo had dark glasses and a blue helmet.|
|I'd be remiss if I didn't mention his better half, Cindy. On the left. The far left.|