Tom Housewright serves as a manager of Ace Hardware in Estes Park when not serving the town.

When did you first come to Glen Haven?

I grew up in Boulder, and my family spent a lot of time up in Estes Park. I got out of the Army in 1984. In 1986, I moved to Gold Hill/Four Mile Canyon. In 1988, I got a job roofing in Estes and rented a cabin on CR43 down from the Retreat for $75/month. We bought our current cabin in 1991.

When did you join the GHAVFD?

I joined the fire department in 1990. My wife Kelly joined the department in 1996 (she’s now in Reserve). We’ve been running calls as a family since then.

Over the years it’s changed quite a bit. It’s gone from being very small with volunteers winging it to well-organized, well-equipped, and well-trained by comparison.

It’s a big commitment to volunteer with this group. You all respond to medical emergency calls, car wrecks, and wildfires (anything else?). What made you want to volunteer?

I’ve always been interested in serving my community in this capacity. When I lived in Boulder, I served on both Gold Hill and Four-Mile (fire departments west of Boulder). I’ve just always loved to volunteer.

What do you and your family do differently as a result of your years on the fire department?

It’s hard to say, I’ve been in the fire department for over half my life. I would say that we’re always prepared. I’ve gone on a lot of calls when the kids were growing up, so they’ve tagged along and sat in car seats while I ran traffic control at a car wreck or sitting on the floor during a medical call. It’s part of who we are as a family.

Is there a moment that stands out for you as your proudest to be a part of the fire department?

I’ve always been proud to be a part of the department from day one. Last night, my son Gabe and I did mop up together on the Lumpy Ridge fire. It was my first time serving alongside Gabe. While we were there, we ran into four other guys from Glen Haven who were helping, too.

I’ve noticed that the residents of Glen Haven have a strong sense of civic duty. It’s quite remarkable. What advice do you have for fellow residents when it comes to the fire department?

Everyone is a first responder. I think the people on the fire department are second responders. People should aim to be personally ready and prepared, particularly those of us within the department.