PORTAGE | Jordan Bucy was about to take his oath as one of the newest Portage firefighters Monday when Fire Chief Tom Fieffer asked Bucy if he wished his dad was there.
The younger Bucy barely got to say yes when his father, former Portage assistant chief and current Stevens County, Wash., Fire Chief Mike Bucy walked into the council chambers.
Jordan Bucy, 22, was one of three firefighters sworn in Monday, all with connections to the department.
He said he was surprised by his dad's appearance at his swearing-in ceremony and credited the elder Bucy with influencing him to go into the fire service. He was most recently on the Hebron department, but has also served on the South Haven and Union Township departments.
After growing up around the Portage Fire Department, he couldn't imagine working for any other department, he said.
Tom Dutko, 27, of Lowell, said he was influenced to go into firefighting by Portage firefighter Pat Newell. Dutko grew up with Newell's younger brother.
"This is what I want to do and what I grew up to do," said Dutko, a paramedic who serves with the Lowell volunteer department.
Jake Thornton, 23, of Kouts, is the stepson of Portage firefighter Elias Zikkos.
"It was what I was born to do," said Thornton, who has served on the Morgan Township volunteer department.
An emergency medical technician, he is studying to be a paramedic.
Fieffer said the three hires fill vacancies within the department, bringing it up to its full contingent of 61 members.