Keeping it in the family

Behind the Badge

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – When it comes to the areas first responders, you hear the men and women who suit up talk about being part of a family.

However, for one pair of Rural Metro Firefighters, for them, family means a whole lot more.

“To have a son to want to follow in your footsteps and be a firefighter means a lot,” says Rural Metro Public Information Officer Jeff Bagwell.

A 35 year veteran of the fire service, Bagwell can remember the first time we were sent out on a call while a member of the Claxton Volunteer Crew.

“Next thing I know I’m on this fire.. so my dad shows up. I’m like, ‘what are you doing here?’ He said, “well, your mother made me come.” So, mom pushed him out of the bed to come watch me and make sure I didn’t get hurt.”

Now, years later, Jeff understands where his parents were coming from as his son Logan appears to be following in his father’s footsteps as a member of Rural Metro’s Explorer Program.

“It was not forced upon me but it was just everywhere I was,” Logan tells WATE 6 On Your Side. “Somebody is having the worst day of their life… and you could be there to make the difference and say that it’s going to be fine. They are going to get out of this.. and that’s just… soothing.”

“He got an award at school years ago. Most likely person to save a lift,” said Jeff Bagwell.

“I really like helping people, and the thing about it is, it’s my community,” said Logan Bagwell.

While the two do cross paths from time to time as fellow firefighters, they’re still father and son.

“You know what the pitfalls  are… and it’s hard because you want to tell them.. and most of the time you get told “yeah ok whatever” .. and you know that’s going to happen.. but you have to sit back and let it go,” said Jeff Bagwell.

“Having him around is a huge thing… and if he wasn’t here I probably wouldn’t be going in this career path.. because obviously he’s my father.. because he showed me what to do… what to do to become a firefighter,” said Logan Bagwell.

“I’m proud of him,” said Jeff Bagwell.

Side note, mom is a former nurse and big sister currently is a nurse; it’s safe to say this is a family that cares about its community and constantly gives back.

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