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Jodie Harbert Jr. has served EFD for 62 years

Local firefighting hero, on the job since 1946, may retire this year
After 62 years, firefighter Jodie Harbert Jr. is still on the job. He’s helped quell countless emergencies over seven decades, and saved many lives, but the Ennis hero may soon be hanging up his hat and his firehose.
Recently named Fire Fighter of the Year by the North Texas Fire Fighters Association, Harbert joined the Ennis Fire Department in 1946.
Now serving as Volunteer Lieutenant. Harbert has seen many changes over the years of his service to Ennis and though he said he’s enjoyed the work, he thinks it might be time to take a little rest.
“I’ve been thinking about doing this for the last year,” Harbert said. “It’s certainly changed a lot.”
Harbert is a much-needed supporting cast member on the local fire scene, helping with equipment pumps, performing rehabilitation for department personnel, changing and refilling air cylinders, directing traffic, retrieving tools and running errands.
Harbert’s presence is also an emotional asset to the department.
“To me he is just like having a father around,” Fire Chief David Hopkins said. “He really is like a second father. And to the guys, they really respect him. He knows the city. He virtually knows every fire that has occurred in the city.”
Harbert is an inspiration to the Ennis firefighters and an aide on the scene.
“I just like doing it,” Harbert said of his current volunteering duties.
“It’s a way to help out the community.”
Volunteering with the fire department isn’t the only way Harbert helps out Ennis. He is active in his church, gives friends rides into town and checks on elderly friends who aren’t as mobile as he is.
Harbert was raised in Ennis and attended Ennis Colored High School.
He was married to Edwina, who passed away approximately five years ago.
He has a son named Jodie Harbert III.
Harbert has the opportunity to win the prestigious honor of State Fire Fighter of the Year at the annual firefighter’s convention scheduled for June in Beaumont.
“I’m very excited about that,” Harbert said. “It’s a great honor.”
Matt Cook is a staff writer and the wed editor for the Ennis Daily News. He can be reached at matt@ennisdailynews.com

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Posted by on May 27 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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