Orland Fire Protection District Lt. Ken Reninger's Last Ride
By the Orland Fire Protection District
The bay in the firehouse was packed from noon to 5 with colleagues who served with Ken Reninger and were there to wish him well in retirement. After 27 years as a fireman, he would get his last ride home that night on the engine and his house mates at Station 5 would cover the rest of his shift.
On Tuesday night, the following were on hand: wife Adrienne, a 4th grade school teacher at nearby Meadow Ridge, daughter Julie, also a teacher, son Greg (son Matt was serving as a fireman in Homer), the feel of accomplishment was in the air. Old friends who began fire fighting when they had more hair and it was not specked with gray, stopped in for man hugs and a sandwich.
"It was a good career," said Adrienne. "He's very fortunate he's walking our without any injuries."
When Ken says he's "ready" it's not to sit in a Lazyboy. The outdoor enthusiast is heading to the back woods and Boundaries Water for fishing, hunting, camping.
"I'm getting the RV together. I'm just going to hook it up and go," said Ken.
Looking back, Ken says "Orland was a great department to work for, with great equipment and training."
He is quick to say, he'll miss the "camaraderie" the most.
Looking back, saving lives was important but what came rushing to the forefront was giving life.
"I was there for the birth of three babies. That was something."
By day's end there were more than 100 visitors and a badly butchered frosted cake spattered around the table, but there was one last item of business for someone who’s adult life was spent with other firefighters.
"I could go home now but there's a union meeting here tonight and I want to go. Besides, it will be a good place for me to say my goodbyes and thank all the guys."