Longtime WF firefighter retires after more than 30 years

Local News

A long time Wichita Falls firefighter started his final shift with the department Friday.

J.J. Awtry served 36 years to the day with the Wichita Falls Fire Department.

Awtry said his first day on the job was June 29, 1983. Awtry was working with his dad digging a ditch when his dad told him about the fire department hiring. Awtry said the last 36 years felt like 15 and that finding this career 36 years ago and being able to serve Wichita Falls has meant so much to him.

“This community is unlike any other, I don’t know any other but we always seem to come together during the good times, bad times,” Awtry said. “Being able to serve in a community like this has meant the world to me.
I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if I had the chance to.”

Awtry said one thing he will miss is the camaraderie among the firefighter, but he is looking forward to making up for all the time he missed with his family. Awtry’s final shift will end at 8 a.m. and he said
he expects it to be an emotional walk out of the firehouse.

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