Entire Tulsa Fire Department Gets Photos Taken, Father-Son Duo Capture Family History

It's the first time in almost a decade the department has done this, and the photos will go in a yearbook.

Wednesday, September 20th 2023, 5:42 pm


Every single member of the Tulsa Fire Department is having their photo taken.

It's the first time in almost a decade the department has done this, and it will go in a yearbook.

What do you want to be when you grow up can be a difficult question for children to answer, but for Richard Smith, it was obvious.

"Actually, a fire truck ran over my dog. Didn't kill her but definitely hurt her, and they knocked on every door 'til they found the owner,” Richard said. “I opened up the door at eight years old and look at those four bigger-than-life firemen, and that's when I decided that's what I wanted to do."

And Richard did it. He served as a firefighter for decades and, later in his career, was promoted to captain.

He loved having this role, but nothing compared to his other title as a dad to his son Andy and his three other kids.

"Grew up in different fire stations and getting to watch my dad leave on the truck with the lights and sirens. My dad was my hero," said Andy.

That career question was obvious to Andy, too. He followed in his dad's footsteps all the way to captain and realized his dad made it look easy.

“The fact that my dad was able to do that and balance and work off the job as well as having four kids at home, it's something you think about quite a bit,” Andy said. “And the fact that my dad was able to handle that for 20-some-odd years, I have a lot of respect for him, and it's an amazing thing."

Now, their legacy--along with all 700 members of TFD-- is being documented. And it makes Richard and Andy smile that they can be a part of it.

"History is everything. Family history is everything at the Fire Department. If you don't document it, then they say it really didn't happen, and so I think it is great that they are documenting it with a yearbook," said Richard.

"Letting us come in and take pictures as father-son is a real special thing," Andy said.

And now, future generations can picture their career, too.


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