OWENSVILLE, Ohio -- Matthew Rose and his father, Richard Rose, have spent a total of 113 years firefighting.
Matthew, a former Stonelick Township fire chief, has spent 43 years saving lives at three different fire departments in Greater Cincinnati. Richard has 70 years under his belt; he’s worked everywhere from Loveland to Goshen to Fayetteville.
After decades of service, the pair celebrated retirement at a large, community party Saturday evening at the Clermont County Fairgrounds.
Matthew says although he’s looking forward to getting a full night’s sleep, he’s going to miss running into fires.
“I can’t get enough,” he said. “I’m like the kid in the candy store. When the smoke is showing, the fire is growing, you come off that engine, throw that pack on, grab that hose, go through that front door. There’s nothing like the feeling of the heat beating you down. I love it.”
Matthew started as a cadet in Goshen in 1974. He worked for the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department for 19 years before becoming Stonelick Township chief, a position he held for eight years.
“It just seems like, you know, one day you’re here, the next day you’re gone,” he said. “Forty-three years passed quick.”
The Rose family has deep roots in firefighting, Matthew said. His brother works for Loveland-Symmes, his other brother works for Goshen, his sons are in Union Township and he’s worked with his father full time since 1985.
“We’re in every department in Hamilton County, Clermont County, Warren County,” he said.
Matthew described his time working alongside his father as an “inspiration.”
Richard started working in at the Madeira-Indian Hill Fire Department with his father when he was just 14 years old.
“Anytime the parents were gone, the kids would run the desk,” he said. “We’d go out and help field fires, load hose. That’s where I started.”
Richard said there’s a lot he loves about firefighting, but he’ll miss the opportunity to help people the most.
“I’m proud to serve with all these people,” he said.
Matthew echoed the words of his father and longtime coworker.
“It’s been a good career,” he said. “The people I have worked with over the past 43 years, couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people.”