Firefighters at home and abroad

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SHERMAN -- Fighting fires at home and abroad, serving their communities and their country. One Sherman firefighter is preparing to leave for his tour of duty in Iraq. Members of the department say his departure hits them especially hard.

When Sherman fire chief Jeff Jones hired Brent Baca a year ago, he knew Brent was a Marine and could face deployment. After talking more they realized Chief Jones’ son, James, is in the same unit.

Now both men are leaving for Iraq next week and Jones says it's like saying goodbye to two sons. For Brent Baca the thrill of the moment is an exciting part of his career as a firefighter.

"I would say the adrenaline rush, running into a house while it's on fire, it's definitely something," Brent said.

Brent learned how to fight fires after joining the Marine Corps six years ago. Now he faces his first overseas tour of duty as he goes to Iraq with someone who's like family, his fire chief's son.

"Like my son, Brent joined the fire service for the right reasons and he also joined the Marines for the right reasons and both these young men are doing a great service both to their community here and to their nation. And I'm just really proud of them," Chief Jones said.

James Jones works as an EMT and firefighter in Van Alstyne and wanted to become a fire fighter after growing up and watching his dad serve the community.

He joined the Marine Corps reserve to serve his country.

"I've got a passion for both. I've got a passion for being a Marine; I have a passion for being a fireman. And I get to use my training and come home and serve my community. It means a lot to me," James said.

Both Brent and James say they're dealing with many emotions as they prepare to leave. Brent and his wife are expecting their first child, but both men say seeing a familiar face will bring comfort even when they're far from home.

"It's a face from home, somebody I can have a look at and see his dad; they look exactly alike to me. It feels good to have somebody from home," Brent said.

"They can look across the sand from each other and have a connection back home," Chief Jones said.

Chief Jones says they plan to fly a family flag at the central fire station in Sherman in honor of the two. Brent and James unit is expected to be deployed for at least a year.

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  • by Mrs. Baca Location: Sherman on Aug 11, 2007 at 09:56 AM
    I just wanted to thank you all for your prayers and support of my husband. God bless you all!
  • by C R Location: Bonham on Apr 28, 2007 at 04:30 PM
    The Few - The Proud - The Marines (also) The Firemen - (Both) Saves Our Lives!
  • by Dolores Location: Santee, CA on Apr 27, 2007 at 05:57 PM
    As the daughter of a retired firefighter I know the risks. These two men are exceptional to also serve their country. My thoughts and prayers will be with them both as well as their families and ALL our brave men serving our country. Thank you!
  • by Aunt Sally Elder Location: Cedar Hill, Texas on Apr 27, 2007 at 04:37 PM
    James Robert Jones is my nephew(Chief Jeff Jones is my brother). Our family is so proud of James and we want him to get his job done and come home. We love uou Jimmy!!!
  • by anne Location: Bells on Apr 27, 2007 at 12:10 PM
    You guys can say hello to my husband while you are there. Good Luck and go with God
  • by Jacqueline Location: Denison on Apr 27, 2007 at 07:47 AM
    God's speed, gentlemen. You will be in our prayers.......and THANK YOU for having our backs. HOORAH!
  • by C. R. Location: Bonham on Apr 27, 2007 at 05:56 AM
  • by melenie Location: dension on Apr 27, 2007 at 05:41 AM
    i am very proud of these firefighters?
  • by anne Location: Bells on Apr 27, 2007 at 05:34 AM
    I did not see you doing a story when my husband who works for the City of Sheman as well was deployed with the US Navy! Shame on you. Daywane has been gone since March and not one word from your station. The City of Sherman has done nothing but give Dawayne grief over his Resevre service! In fact, there have been times when his supervisor said that he could NOT go to his drill. He drills out of Ft. Worth as well. I find it sad that the City of Sherman treats one deployed sailor so badly but then treats two others so well. And KXII HELPED them!
  • by mike Location: denison on Apr 27, 2007 at 02:42 AM
    stay in the hands of GOD! may he bless and keep them safe!!!!!!!my son is also a fireman! oh how we worry!!!
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