Two former firefighters get tour of Amherstburg fire hall

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a blast from the past for Leighton Buckner and Tom Dawson.

The two former firefighters received a tour of Amherstburg fire station #1 last Thursday morning, in a trip that was arranged by local resident and retired town administrator Tom Kilgallin. Dawson, a retired deputy chief from Kingsville, and Buckner, a retired district chief from Windsor, received the tour from Amherstburg Chief Bruce Montone and deputy chief Lee Tome.

“I love being here, it’s a nice town,” commented Dawson. “It’s good. I also get back to Kingsville once in a while.”

Estimating he has been retired six or seven years, Dawson said, “things have changed quite a bit.

“Equipment is a lot better than when I first started.”

Dawson spent 42 years with the Kingsville Fire Department but said there is a bond with firefighters regardless of municipality.

Two retired firefighters who now live at Seasons Amherstburg visited Amherstburg fire station #1 last Thursday. From left: retired Kingsville deputy chief Tom Dawson, deputy chief Lee Tome, retired Windsor district chief Leighton Buckner, former mayor Bill Gibb, Chief Bruce Montone, retired administrator Tom Kilgallin and assistant deputy chief Ron Meloche.

Two retired firefighters who now live at Seasons Amherstburg visited Amherstburg fire station #1 last Thursday. From left: retired Kingsville deputy chief Tom Dawson, deputy chief Lee Tome, retired Windsor district chief Leighton Buckner, former mayor Bill Gibb, Chief Bruce Montone, retired administrator Tom Kilgallin and assistant deputy chief Ron Meloche.

“We’re still all brothers,” he said. “When you start hearing the stories, it brings back a lot of memories.”

Buckner, known as “Buck” to his friends and colleagues, worked 34 years in Windsor between 1949-83. He said it is “really nice” to be in Amherstburg, noting that his son lived here and he used to visit.

“I said ‘I wouldn’t mind living here one day’,” said Buckner. “Here I am. I like it.”

The 92-year-old Buckner said he has seen big changes over the years as well, noting the equipment is more advanced compared to his era.

“We couldn’t afford the tires, I believe,” Buckner joked.

Buckner recalled a fire call where the truck driver had the gearshift break off the truck on the way causing alternative measures to be used just to respond to the call.

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