LUBBOCK, TX - On Friday, October 13, Lieutenant Robert Loveless officially retired from the Lubbock Fire Department after proudly serving for 26 years. However, despite his retirement, the department will be keeping the Loveless name for years to come.
Since 1991, Loveless has battled fires, has assisted in heavy rescue dive team missions and worked for the Lubbock Fire Marshal's Office. With a number of accomplishments under his belt, he shared one of his proudest moments has been being able to serve the department with his family.
"It's a special thing to have a son and daughter who followed in my footsteps, it's an honor," said Loveless. "I wouldn't trade it for the world, it's been a blast, a lot of fun."
Loveless' wife, Kim, has been with the Lubbock Fire Auxiliary for 20 years, and shared that at the time she joined, it was important for her to support her husband and other LFR families as their loved ones venture off to dangerous calls on a daily basis.
"When you're on shift, it give you an opportunity to get to know the women who might go through something. It's a change of life when your husband is gone for 24 hours, so you get to do stuff with them (other wives within auxiliary)," said Loveless. "I enjoy getting to know the younger families and seeing how they enjoy being apart of the firefighter family."
And as it would turn out, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Their two children, Haley and Jase, followed in their father's foot steps as well.
"When we were little, it was pretty cool. We got to spend the night at the firefighter station on occasion which was totally fun although we usually slept through the alarms at night," said Haley, Loveless' daughter, who is a dispatcher for the Texas Tech Police Department, a volunteer firefighter for West Carlisle and works with Shallowater EMS.
"We also got to spend most of the holidays up here (fire station). A few times at Christmas, we would have Christmas morning at the fire station," said Jase, Loveless' son, a firefighter with the Lubbock Fire Department. "I think it would be cool to have kids some day and have them join me at the station, and have Christmas with Dad at the fire station up here. Just like I did."
Jase's wife, Katie, is the current president of the Lubbock Fire Auxiliary. Shortly after the two were married, Jase was hired on by the department. After seeing how good it was for his mother to be involved with the group, he suggested that Katie join too, thus adding a new member to the Loveless Lubbock Fire tradition.
While the Loveless family said they loved getting to have worked alongside each other, they also realize probably more than most, the sacrifices that are made with every call they respond to.
"We're all a big family, fire, police, EMS, we all have to work together out on the scene and for the public. That's the whole reason we do this, we're out there to protect the public," said Lt. Loveless.
"You pray about it every shift they go into, for everyone of them, and pray they come home, but at the same time, it's a job they love and I'm very proud of them for wanting to do it," said Kim Loveless.
Lt. Loveless shared that it has been an honor to have worked with both his family and the family unit of the Lubbock Fire Department, and looks forward to seeing the experiences that his children will have as they continue to grow with LFR.
"It's all because of Dad, Dad got us all started with this," said Jase. "We're keeping the tradition going."
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