NASHVILLE, Tenn. - District Fire Chief Bobby Connelly first walked into a Nashville fire station on December 1, 1959 and had no idea 53 years would go by before he would walk away from it for good.
"From the first day I walked into the training academy I loved it and the last day I'm gonna walk out I'm gonna love it," the 75-year-old said on Thursday morning.
Connelly is known around station 9 as the fun-loving, easy going guy who always pushes his co-workers to do nothing but their best.
"It's something that you do, you love to do it and they even pay you for it," he says about being a firefighter.
Thursday, marked the end of Connelly's career. The day wasn't spent eating cake though because the 75-year-old requested to be working on a fire truck, responding to calls - leaving the department the same way he began.
"You think after 50 years the man might be tired of getting up, being here by 5:30a.m. but he's ready to go every morning and he's just as cheerful as he was 25 years ago," says Captain John Narramore who describes Connelly as his mentor and best friend.
Bobby Connelly has been to more fires than he can remember but it's the people he's worked with he'll tell you, he will never forget.
"I'm proud to be from Nashville and I'm proud to be a firefighter."