You could say that George Bucher was just entering the family business. After all, his father, uncle and grandfather all served on the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Now in his 39th year as a fireman Bucher grew up hearing his relatives talk about their lives on the job.
“They would always have a huddle and tells stories,” said Bucher. “I’d go stand by the cookie jar and listen.”
He can remember the excitement of being a rookie and going out on his first call.
“The first fire I went to was a car fire. Someone had been smoking in there and the seat on fire with a cigarette,” Bucher recalled.
It also took a little while for him to get used to being woken up by the station alarm in the middle of the night.
“I would just be laying there with my eyes wide open. The bells go off and the lights go on. It’s a jolt to your system.”
Over the years the eager rookie was able to work his way up the Fire Department hierarchy. After being moved from station to station throughout the past 10 years, Bucher is now the captain of the Rescue 1 station.
Reflecting on his years of service to various Philadelphia communities, Bucher said he believes that the most satisfying part of his job is being able to get to a fire and help people in time.
“It’s being able to successfully help somebody. You don’t always get the call in time. When the system does work right we can make a difference.”