Morse becomes new Bridge City Fire Chief
“Fire fighting’s in the blood.”
Those are the words of new Bridge City Volunteer Fire Chief Brent Morse who is quite a humble man.
Brent has an uncle who is a chief in Grand Bay Al, which explains his statement before – it runs in the family.
Brent is going on 19 years as a volunteer firefighter. Started back in 1992, “Somewhere around there,” he said.
“There is no telling what time we get up.” Brent went on to say that they, being the fire department, are 24/7.
“It takes a lot of dedication to do this, especially volunteer. We all have jobs. I work for a rubber lining company,” he said, “I’m a supervisor for [the company] over in Orange. We line the inside of tanks and rail cars for acid service… It’s a custom type coating.”
Married to Karen Morse with three kids, he says of his wife’s take on the fire fighting – “[Karen] just does.”
“She knew it going into it. She’s a trouper, boy, she handles it well. She understands what we do, what I do and that I can’t always be at home. If I’m not at work I’m up here. My responsibility has grown, especially being chief. I’m responsible for everything here. I have to make sure everything is up and running like it should and all the people are doing what they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. It can be a pain in the butt but you just get used to it over the years.”
Brent is a very down-to-earth type of man.
“Two or three o’clock in the morning we get house fires…we get up and go we get ‘em out, we get back, get the trucks back in service and get back at home just in time to take a shower and eat then turn around and work a 12 to 14 hour day.
“There’s been times you work a 12 to 14 hour day you come here and do it all over again. So, there’s no telling what we could wind up doing. During Ike I slept [in my office].
During Rita it was the same way. I stayed here…That’s just life, that’s the way it is. That’s what you gotta do in this business. It’s not always easy, but it’s a lot of fun. I enjoy it.”
“My two girls, I don’t think they really think really much of it. It’s just normal for them.
My six year old loves to play with the trucks and tear up my office. He wants to go to calls with me in the middle of the night but there are some times you can’t take him. He has a lot of fun. I think he is going to grow up to be a fireman one day. I’m sure he will.”
A big time fisherman and deer hunter, if he is not at work and not doing fire fighting he is fishing or hunting.
“I’m always busy doing something.”
The best deer he has ever shot has so far been an eight point.
“I’ve seen some bigger ones but just haven’t had the chance to get one. One day it will happen one day.”
“The hardest [fire], there are so many of them, the hardest one that we ever done, I wanna say, was probably in Vidor. It seems like it was a pretty big house and it just wouldn’t go the way we were trying to make it go. Course that’s just the way it is there not always easy.”
“If you’re in this business long enough your going to experience somebody’s death. The hardest ones to deal with are the kids.
“When you have kids that are killed in car wreaks or kids that are killed in house fires. That’s always a tough one to control but you control it and you go on. We do a lot of debriefings after major fires like that. We sit up here and talk about it and hopefully everybody gets everything off his or her chest. We haven’t had any real psychological problems with anybody. Its just part of the business. Everybody deals with it in their own little way.”
Brent says it doesn’t feel any different being the chief than the assistant chief.
“I’ve been lieutenant or better since my sixth or seventh year. Really being chief is no different that being assistant chief I just call all the shots now. Instead of being able to pass stuff up hill, well I’m it. Right now it’s just kind of the same.”
There are six officers all together: Chief Brent Morse, Asst. chief James Fiesette, Capt. 1 Josh Taylor, Capt 2 – Jason Wall, Capt 3 – Chris Harvey, Capt 4 – Chris Landry with the first three newly elected.
After all like Brent said, “Fire fighting’s in the blood”