City Firefighter Calls It A Career: Started With FWFD In 1968

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 28, 2013 Updated Dec 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Paying tribute to a Fort Wayne firefighter with a career in public safety spanning nearly a half-century.

Balloons and cake provided a send-off at the firefighters union headquarters Saturday for Captain Ron Hamm, retiring after 45 years on the job as a city firefighter.

He's been in the middle of some dicey situations over the years.

But one of the things he takes pride in most is the fact he played a role in the city getting a smoke detector ordinance passed, even before the state of Indiana took similar action.

" One year we had 14 fatalities and actually 11 of those were kids. And by getting a requirement that all the houses had to have smoke detectors, it was one of those things where it helped save lives," said Hamm, who teases that, contrary to popular opinion, he wasn't around when the department used horses rather than trucks to get water to the scene of a fire.

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