The Whitman (MA) Fire Lieutenant Robert Hover signed off the air after 34-years of service to the Town of Whitman. Lieutenant Hover was driven home in Whitman Engine 243, which was chauffeured by his son, Firefighter Allen Hover of the Walpole Fire Department. Following close behind was nearly every piece of Whitman fire apparatus.
He arrived at home to find a welcoming committee of family and friends, along with a large electronic sign congratulating him on his career, which included two years as a call-firefighter, 11 years as a firefighter, and his last 21 years as Lieutenant, most served as the shift officer of Group 3.
Shortly before noon, he traveled with Engine 243 as they responded to Brockton Station 2 for a cover assignment. When the RIT company was put to work, Engine 243 moved up to cover Station 1. As Engine 243 was backing into Station 1, the OIC of the fire struck a third alarm, moving Engine 243, among others, to the scene. The fire ultimately went to four alarms.
The Whitman crew was immediately put to work and, after spending a couple minutes on the second floor, Lieutenant Hover’s relief arrived after being shuttled over from Whitman, and he was pulled out of the building. Lieutenant Hover returned to Whitman with Chief Timothy Grenno, as his retirement ceremony would be underway shortly.
Friends, family, co-workers, elected officials, and others all congratulated Lieutenant Hover and wished him well during retirement. Lieutenant Hover received commendations and recognition from local Selectmen Don Salvucci, State Representative Alyson Sullivan, State Senator Mike Brady, US Congressman Stephen Lynch, the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, IAFF Local 1769, the members of Group 3 and from the fire chief, among others.
Lieutenant Hover’s replacement, newly promoted Fire Lieutenant Tom Ford, took over duties as Shift Commander of Group 3 on September 3.
– Fire News photos by Pat Travers