[Editor’s note: This article was recently submitted by Paul Muir on behalf of the Brooks Fire Department and the entire Brooks community.]

Bob Tuthill and his wife, Betty, moved to Brooks in 1979 after serving 31 years on the volunteer fire department in Cutchogue, N.Y. Bob has been a dedicated firefighter on the Brooks Fire Department for the past 30 years.

Bob chose to never become an officer on the department but performed numerous jobs: secretary, traffic controller, maintenance inspection on firehouse and equipment, and any other duties needed. Bob was always at the fire scenes all hours of the day or night, whether it be a snowstorm or a hot, blistery day. All firefighters need their wife’s support and Betty was always there for him.

Bob is a very caring, humorus, quiet kind of man and was always very dependable. A contractor by trade, a gifted woodworker, a workaholic, as his wife describes him. Always willing to donate his talents and time to the community.

A bit of humor: He is colorblind. Ask him what color shirt he is wearing and most of the time he would say green, but it is really red. What color is the fire truck — It’s supposed to be red, he’d say. How do you tell the stoplights? Well, the top is red, middle is yellow and bottom is green, he’d answer.

On Feb. 1, the Brooks Firehouse was filled with firefighters and their families, friends, selectmen and selectwomen for a delicious potluck. Bob was awarded with great honor at this time, as Fire Chief Jeff Archer and assistants Paul Muir and Roscoe Kenney presented Bob with a beautiful firefighter’s gold pocket watch, so he can keep track of his many hours spent as a volunteer.

Also he was presented with a “fireman in action” trophy inscribed with his 61 years of dedicated service. Also past Selectman Jimmy Mulchahey presented him with a miniature fire truck . Many memories from having spent more than 60 years on fire departments.

Many stories of past and present were shared by all. “Times have changed in the 30 years I’ve been with the Brooks Fire Department,” Bob commented. In years past rules and regulations were not mandatory like the present. Firefighters today are required to spend numerous hours in classrooms and hands-on training to enable them to perform at any fire scene — remembering these firefighters are volunteers.

Bob will be missed as a volunteer firefighter, but guaranteed that he will still spend time at the firehouse.

Thanks were extended to everyone who made this retirement celebration so special and memorable.