Monday, August 31, 2015

Fort Thomas Firefighter, Richard Boothe, Retires After 24 Years

Richard Boothe. Provided. 
I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.” - Kurt Vonnegut

On August 1, 2015, Richard Boothe retired from the Fort Thomas Fire Department. Boothe worked as a firefighter for a total of 33 years, 24 of which were spent serving the city of Fort Thomas. 

Boothe's interest in becoming a firefighter was initially due to the working schedule. “What really sounded good about the job was that you work one day and then you're off two. That's the initial thing that hooked me," said Boothe. The schedule may have hooked him at first, but the job itself kept him coming back year after year.

Although he's still in the beginning days of his retirement, he knows he will always miss one important part of the job: the people. “The guys I worked with, you live with them 24 hours a day every third day. That's what you miss the most,” said Boothe. “You don't miss getting up in the middle of the night, going out in the freezing cold or the heat with all your gear on. I don't think anybody misses that. You miss the people.”

During his time as a firefighter, Boothe was able to form lasting relationships with other city officials and city workers throughout Fort Thomas. “It's been an honor to work for this city, and to meet all the good people I've known from the administration all the way to every city job. I've gotten to know all the police officers and city workers over the years, and it's been a real honor to work for them,” said Boothe.

Between spending time on the job helping to serve our community and raising his family in town, Boothe has become fully embedded in the fabric of Fort Thomas. Boothe initially moved to Fort Thomas because the job brought him here. 

After growing up in Newport, Kentucky and attending Ohio State University, he found himself working as a Cincinnati firefighter. Cincinnati firefighters were required to be residents of the city at that time, but Boothe knew he wanted to move back to Kentucky. When an opportunity presented itself to work in Fort Thomas, Boothe was happy to move his family back across the river. 

“We moved to Fort Thomas, and got to know everybody. It's a tight knit community, and everyone who lives here knows that. I've gotten to know everybody in town. Our kids went to school here. It's a great place to be. I liked working here, and we wanted to live here, and the most important thing is where you raise your family,” said Boothe.

The importance of family is something that Boothe carries onto his own three children and five grandchildren. Boothe and his wife, Judy, also look forward to spending more time with their grandchildren now that they are both retired. Along with spending more time with his family, Boothe's retirement will allow him more time to travel with his wife.

Even though he Boothe has retired from his work, he still has strong ties to the world of firefighting. His youngest son, Ryan, inherited the firefighter gene from his father, and currently works as a firefighter/paramedic. 

“It makes you feel pretty good that he's interested in something that I did my whole life,” said Boothe.

Looking back on his career, Boothe certainly has a lot to be proud of during his time as a firefigher. “That I gave it everything I had for 33 years. I was just proud of the job I did day in and day out," said Boothe. 

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