How many people are carrying on the family business of being a firefighter? I myself am a 3rd generation volunteer firefighter. At one time my grandfather, father, and I were on the same department. My grandfather retired after 33 and 1/2 years as Chief. My father retired after 20 years as a Captain. And myself I'm working on year 12. One Sunday after noon about 2 weeks after my grandfather retired; we were all having lunch together and the fire pagers went off for a structure fire! My grandfather started started calling out where the best plug to hook to was at. He misses it so much.