Remembering a firefighter

Posted on 05. Sep, 2012 by

I wrote a short story for the midweek paper on the passing of local firefighter M.L. “Major” Teague. The 75-year-old Greenwood resident died last Monday, and he was buried at Greenwood Cemetery Saturday.

For the past 12 years, the chatter of police, medic and fire channels on the scanner have been a constant companion for me as part of the Messenger news room. There are certain people who have such a distinctive voice that you know right away who it is.

Major was one of those voices.

It’s hard to describe his voice, even as I can imagine it in my head now as he’s checking in route to a fire somewhere in the Greenwood/Slidell area. He was a member for 50 years before becoming an “honorary member” three years ago.

I visited with Tim Fletcher, another long-time firefighter with the Greenwood/Slidell fire department. He shared several stories, some of which I used in the paper. One story he shared that didn’t make it into the paper was a call I actually went out to and remember.

The call was for a major accident on Farm Road 1204 (the road that connects Greenwood with Farm Road 51). A car had gone off the road and crashed into a creek on the west side of the road. Our photographer and I headed out there and we heard Major check in route as well.

When we got to the scene, we found the car just where the radio reports said it would be, but on the east side of the road, in the creek, was a crashed fire truck. Major had come over a hill and said the brakes went out, so he ended up in the creek himself. Luckily, neither Major nor the driver of the other vehicle were injured in the wreck.

For the past couple of years, you were much more likely to see Major sipping coffee at the Greenwood Store than driving a fire truck. No doubt he had a few stories from over the years to share.

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