TOLEDO, Ohio — Retirement usually means you have more free time to enjoy activities that you love. But it can also leave some feeling left without a sense of community.
But a group of retired firefighters in south Toledo are trying to keep the memories alive and make sure no one feels left out.
Every Thursday, you can find the group in the back of Ideal Hot Dog on Heatherdowns at 8:30 a.m.
“Thursdays are a morning that I look forward to,” said Steve Parsons, a retired fire chief who has been eating with the group for years.
“When I first started, and I’ve been retired going on 11 years, we had all these tables together all the way to the door. We’d have 18 people,” Parsons said.
Coming from different departments all around northwest Ohio, the group shares stories about what they remember from their time on the job, and how the industry has evolved. Many also reflect on how the job has changed, especially during the pandemic.
“It’s a lot of extra work on the crews because they have to sanitize a lot of equipment, and they’re exposing themselves,” Parsons said.
The group also has plenty of advice for any firefighters looking to join the crew.
“If you don’t have any common sense, you just need not apply,” said one group member.
While the six to eight Thursday regulars enjoy each other’s company, they’re looking for more who may want to join every once in a while.
If you’re recently retired from any department, you’re welcome to join every Thursday at 8:30 a.m.