All three young men have a deep respect for their father and his knowledge of the fire service as well as a trust in his teachings, as they all received certifications through his courses.
Dad (Jay) wasn't the first Woodruff in a fire helmet either. His father, Ken Woodruff, got his start back in the 1950s in the Plainville Fire Department and, before that, his Grandfather Roy was a fire commissioner in the 1940s.
I called Jay Woodruff after the interview and asked him two more questions:
Chief, seriously, the radio tones go off, reported structure fire, you and the boys are all home (they live a quarter-mile from the station). So, you make the first fire engine out, pull up to a working house fire, are all of you going in that building on that first hose line? He didn't hesitate. "I have every confidence in my kids. I know how well they're trained, or I would not have certified them."
Then I said, I never asked, is your wife or any daughters in the fire department? He laughed, "No, we have no daughters, and my wife, she used to help out on major incidents with coffee/cold drinks, but not since I stepped down as chief."
Congratulations to the Woodruff Boys from Belgium-Cold Springs.
Former Chief Jay Woodruff, left, stands with his sons Justin, center, and Brendyn at the Belgium-Cold Springs Fire Department. All three boys, including his eldest, Aaron (not pictured), have followed their father into volunteer service at the department.