TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com)- Wayne Garrett, is tall and lanky and at 62 still sports that bushy moustache typical of old-time firefighters. He lumbers about with old and new pals at the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue’s 40th birthday party Tuesday afternoon, pumping hands slapping shoulders, being free with hugs.
Among this crowd, Garrett holds a special place. He was among the first crop hired as paid firefighters in Hillsborough County in the fall of 1973. Prior to that, the county’s unincorporated areas were protected by volunteers; eager, but not too well versed in the science and art of fighting fires.