I once ran in an Engine Company where a Firefighter was studying law at a local university. His name was John and he was a good pipeman. John came to a point in his studies where the University allowed the pre law students to assist poor people in traffic court. They were not paid but were there to gain experience. John told me he was assigned to defend a crotchity old black man who had ben caught going 30 mph in a 25 mph zone. The old man was under the assumption the city had given him a public defender. Any how John lost the case and the complaining old man had to pay a small fine. A month later we had a run to a car fire. When we pulled up John came off the engine in full turnout gear and proceeded to put the fire out. As we started to pick up line I heard a loud commotion. An old black man was swearing at John and waving his arms around. Our Captain stepped in and asked what was the problem. The old man was fuming. He told our Captain that the city screwed him by assigning a Firefighter to defend him in court. The old man wanted John to reimburse him for the fine.We quickly picked up our equipment and left the scene. We never did con vince the old man about the truth of the situation. John eventually left the Fire service and became an attorney. He told me, years later, his time with the Fire Department was the best part of his life.

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