Firefighter turns 90 and still fighting fires - FOX Carolina 21

Firefighter turns 90 and still fighting fires

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Hobart Erickson stands next to a Donalds Fire Department fire truck. (FOX Carolina/1/27/17) Hobart Erickson stands next to a Donalds Fire Department fire truck. (FOX Carolina/1/27/17)
Hobart Erickson (Jan 27, 2017 FOX Carolina) Hobart Erickson (Jan 27, 2017 FOX Carolina)
ABBEVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Those who know Hobart Erickson know this man to be devoted.

"I've answered quite a few calls!" Erickson laughs.

His friends and fellow firefighters call him Hobie and it's safe to say he's attained every ranking position possible in his lifetime of fighting fires. 

"I've been president of the organization, and president right now. I'm on the board of trustees, board of directors, I'm the fire inspector in town." Hobart said.

The shocking part? Hobart is now 90-years-old! 

"If anyone had to say a hero, to me, that's what you call a hero. The man is 90-years-old, over 60 years in firefighting whose helped people his whole life. You can't ask for anything better than that," Donalds Fire Chief Ronnie Vaughn said about his friend and fellow fireman. 

The fire chief said Erickson has been a friend in and out of the station. He's won firefighter of the year award and countless others. Hobart spent 30 years in New Jersey as a firefighter and came to the Carolinas to retire.

"When I retired and came down here, I said I was going to give up fire fighting. That was my end," said Hobie. "I was going to fish and play golf."

That's what he thought would happen. But there was still plenty of fire left in Hobie and leaving the brotherhood behind was no longer an option. He's spent more than 30 years now in Abbeville County at the Donalds station.

"The main thing is brotherly love," Hobie said. "It's an organization, friendship. We do what we can for the community."

"He averages 70 calls a year and for a man that is 90-years-old, that's what you call dedication. He inspires me to be the best that I can be, he's taught me a lot and as far as being a fire chief and a human being," Vaughn said.  

It's his job and his way of life and he says keeping busy is what keeps him young.

"I certainly feel you have to give something to the community," said the firefighter. "I have a good wife that takes care of me and she pushes me to do things. She takes good care of me and I thank the Lord every day for everything I got. I've been well blessed at 90-years-old."

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