CLINTON — Clinton Fire Department Lt. Jim Fullan has begun an ambitious project to honor former firefighters and is looking to the community to help make the project a success.

Fullan, a 27-year member of the fire department, said he’s seen many firefighters come and go.

“There’s always been a sense of sadness when men leave here. Following a 25- to 30-year career, they walk down the stairs and out the door, and they’re gone,” he said. “Each one has uniquely contributed, for the most part without much fanfare, to the mission of preserving life and property in Clinton.”

A few weeks ago, Fullan was looking through an old photo album of some photos he had taken over the years. He soon decided to frame some and hang them in the station. The pictures resulted in an overwhelming appreciation for the firefighting tradition in Clinton.

“There is a strong connection to these guys. We really stand on the shoulders of these guys, and they, the guys before them. All of them have made a significant contribution to this place,” said Fullan. “This is just a way to honor them and remember them. It’s a reminder that we’re part of a real time-honored tradition.”

He commented that many of the younger firefighters are genuinely interested in the pictures and ask questions about their predecessors. Fullan said the veteran firefighters have enjoyed seeing the pictures, often pointing out who they used to work with and telling stories of shared adventures.

“I’ve kind of been taken back by the response from the guys around here. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback,” he said. “It stimulated a lot of storytelling and a lot of memories.”

That response served as motivation to try and find more photos of those who have served at the Clinton Fire Department.

Fullan began the effort by contacting retired firefighters and has received some old and interesting photographs.

“With today’s technology, I can scan the photos and give them back, so they don’t have to give up these old photos that are surely meaningful to them,” he said.

Once the photos have been scanned, Fullan personally returns the photos, which he said has been an especially enjoyable part of the project.

“It’s provided opportunity to see and visit with some men I haven’t seen in years. These are men I hold in high regard. They have had a significant impact on my life, and the lives of others here, and consequently, on this department,” Fullan said.

Fullan is hoping area residents including former firefighters or their families and friends will be willing to assist the project by submitting old photos that might be worthy of a spot on the firehouse wall.

“I just love these pictures. Now I’d just like to find some more,” he said.

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