Chief George Baker: First and Foremost, A Firefighter
By: Geoff Spillane , September 20, 2013
Mashpee Fire Chief George W. Baker Jr. was a “fireman’s fireman” right up until his last day on the job.
Instead of arriving at work yesterday, his final full day on duty, in his white chief’s uniform, he showed up in a blue firefighter uniform and responded to emergency calls alongside his department members.
“That is why I became a firefighter, and that’s how I wanted to spend my last day,” he said.
The day, though, was tinged with sadness. Chief Baker responded to a medical call that turned out to be a fatal cardiac arrest incident. The victim was one of his longtime friends.
“I’ve been there when people are born, and I’ve been there when people die. I’ve been honored during the past 30 years to participate in these moments,” an emotional Chief Baker said.
Late yesterday, Chief Baker wrote a farewell to the Town of Mashpee:
To the people of Mashpee,
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as your Fire Chief. It has been an honor to be with you at times of celebration and at times of loss. The trust and respect you have shown me over the years has contributed to my success. Again, thank you.
George Baker, Retired Chief
Mashpee Fire And Rescue Department