By Barb Lawson
Special to The Mirror
Rick Woods is 90 years young. He was a paramedic in Los Angeles back in the 1960s.
When I met Rick, I was amazed by his paramedic life. I myself was a paramedic and we started swapping stories. He expressed an interest in seeing how the fire department had changed over the years.
This is when I got the idea of talking to Capt. Brad Chaney of South King Fire to see if we could get him a tour.
Capt. Chaney thought about it and talked to the chief to see what we could do. I was thrilled to hear that Station 62 would like to host Rick with a lunch and a tour.
The crew at Station 62 had no idea how that small kindness would fill an old medic’s heart. When we arrived at Station 62 we met Battalion Chief Suckoll, Lt. Salvage, Lt. Cahan, Engineer Jack, FF Hargrave, FF Wooley and FF Roberts.
The firefighters treated Rick like a celebrity. Sharing stories and firehouse humor was just the beginning to a wonderful spaghetti lunch and a special gift for Rick. Battalion Chief Suckoll of Station 62 presented Rick with a very special commemorative firehouse coin.
I was so proud of this house honoring a man who protected the public for years without hesitation, a guy who put his life in danger many times over the years to help and save others.
Rick worked the LA riots and worked at the movie studios as a set medic. Rick worked alongside people like Mr. T of the “A-Team” and many other actors from that time.
Rick has a book written about him and his partner and another written by a paramedic that he himself had hired.
As the afternoon progressed, Rick was given a tour of the firehouse and a full belly. It was truly a gift that will have no end. An honor given to a guy who gave so much and asked for so little in return.
So here’s to the crew at Station 62. Your generous spirit and your wonderful attentiveness were a great way to end a perfect day. In my eyes you are all heroes, each and every one of you! Thank you for an incredible experience that changed the lives of two old paramedics. A special thanks to Captain Brad Chaney — because of your kindness and effort, you brought this incredible experience to life.
Rick and I left that day knowing that no matter the call, Federal Way, Washington, was in great hands with the Shark Pit also known as Firehouse 62.