‘Something I could do for the community’

Jeff Morey — Tracy Fire Department

Photo by Jim Muchlinski Tracy firefighter Jeff Morey points at him in a fire department group photo.

TRACY — Jeff Morey has served in the Tracy Fire Department for 32 years, but he’s not ready to slow down.

He’s one of 26 members on the Tracy fire crew. His usual job on fire calls is to drive one of the tanker trucks, which has a 3,000 gallon capacity.

He joined the fire department in 1990 when he was invited by the fire chief. He had thought about serving prior to being invited because of the chance to be part of an important public service.

“We have a great group of volunteers,” Morey said. “I thought it was something I could do for the community. It’s always felt good to participate.”

Morey is a lifelong Tracy resident. He operates a small engine business in addition to his fire department service.

The department meets twice a month for meetings and drills. The amount of calls varies, and includes a combination of structural fires and accident rescues.

Lockers in the fire hall are arranged according to seniority. Crew members are trained in a way that enables them to perform different duties on calls depending on what’s needed.

“We’re trained to be versatile,” Morey said. Many times the younger firemen will do the fire attack. Those of us who are older are more likely to work in the background.”

He said he’s not sure how much longer he’ll continue to serve. He plans to keep going for now because he still feels capable of meeting the physical demands of fire calls.

“I’ve told the guys that if it looks like I’m slowing down I want them to tell me,” Morey said. “So far that hasn’t happened. I’ll probably realize it myself before anyone notices.”

The Tracy fire hall is located on the edge of the downtown business district near the center of town. Along with the garage, it features a meeting room and a club room.

The club room has a large amount of memorabilia going back many years. Posters of fireman’s dances date back to the 1930s.

The department has a service territory that stretches north toward Amiret and Milroy, east to the Walnut Grove area, south into Murray County and west toward Garvin.

Morey said he’s enjoyed going from being one of the youngest crew members to having some of the longest seniority.

“Someone learns by getting experience,” he said. “If something should be done differently, people who’ve served a for a long time will point it out. It involves many details, everything from how to dress to how to change out the tanks.”

He said one of the greatest rewards of fire service is the team spirit that builds up among all members of the crew.

“It’s like a family,” Morey said. “It leads to a bond that’s not replaceable. I can count on everyone in any situation. I always know that they’ll give more than 100 percent.”


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