Captain Allen Harris has been with the Chino Valley Fire District for almost 40 years.
"I started taking classes in 1974 and worked part time as a firefighter, then in 1988 I became full time. I feel very connected to the department and the community," said Allen.
"I've seen our department go through some major changes since 1974. When I first started, we were dispatched by an air raid siren, but now of course we have dispatch centers.
"Also in the '70s, we weren't even EMTs and our medical equipment consisted of an oxygen powered resuscitator. In the 1990s, we transited into learning how to be paramedics, and now 80 percent of our firefighters are paramedics," he added.
Allen said one of the most dangerous parts of his job is responding to traffic accidents.
"I have had some close calls there, but luckily in all these years and all the fires, I've never had any on-duty injuries. The other dangerous thing is the fire house cooking," Allen said, joking.
Between Chino Valley and Paulden, the fire district employs 38 full time firefighters between three stations.
"We have days when we do seven to eight calls a day. We want the public to know if they have any kind of medical emergency to call 911 and we will come to you. We still make house calls.
"My favorite thing about this job is making a difference in people's lives, and to be able to help fix their problems. That's what it is all about for me," Allen said.
Allen said the firefighters work a third of their lives at the firehouse.
"The guys you work with become your extended family, and when I retire in a couple of years I will really miss the camaraderie, although I have enough projects that will keep me busy. I'll will be able to spend more time with my wife Cheryl and with my grandchildren," said Allen.
"The one thing I won't miss is being woken up in the middle of the night," he said with a grin.