Next generations step up to the plate as BLFD’s volunteer firefighters
When you call 9-1-1 and the Ben Lomond Fire Department (BLFD) responds to the scene, chances are that you’re being assisted by members of the same family.
Since its beginnings more than a century ago, the Department has been staffed by volunteer firefighters who call Ben Lomond home. And many of those who serve today either volunteer alongside family members or are just the latest generation in a long line of BLFD firefighters and supporters.
Aside from current Fire Chief Stacie Brownlee – whose late father, Mike Smith, was chief in the 1970s and ’80s – there are a number of BLFD volunteers with family roots that run deep. From fathers and sons, to cousins, grandfathers, and in-laws, here’s a look at just a few of your local firefighters who are keeping it all in the family.
One of the most recent volunteers to join the department is Duquan Ruff, the 19-year-old son of BLFD Engineer Steve Ruff. The father and son pair is part of a firefighting family that’s served Ben Lomond for many years.
Steve and his wife Teresa (daughter of retired Battalion Chief Ed Butler) moved to Ben Lomond in 2003, when Duquan was about 3. Steve joined BLFD in 2004 after he finished serving in the U.S. Navy. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Steve said he was a little hesitant about living in such a small community.