WHITMAN —With 34 years, and a career full of milestones, under his belt Whitman Fire Lt. Bob Hover spent his last official day at a four-alarm fire in Brockton on a mutual aid call for a building fire.
It was typical of Hover to stay to the end- his greatest responsibilities were to bring his crew home safe to their families after each shift.
He thanked all who attended his retirement open house on Monday afternoon, which culminated with a traditional ride home in the Whitman engine.
Hover, with great wit and intelligence, seemed to recall dates and memories with each friend, family and resident who greeted, wished him well and thanked him.
With department members all over the South Shore stopping in to “wish him a happy retirement” the afternoon was filled with smiles, tears and elbow bumps.
Hover’s family was in attendance his immediate family wife Karen, daughter Nicole and two sons Chris and Allen as well as a large extended family of great nieces and nephews.
Hover received commendations from the State of Massachusetts including: State Rep. Alyson Sullivan, R-Abington; state Sen. Michael Brady, D-Brockton; U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.; and various representatives for the Town of Whitman; many also knowing Hover personally for most of his three and a half decades in town.
His commands included countless fire calls, including a fatal house fire, hazardous materials; assisting with two baby deliveries and helping citizens throughout Whitman to name a few.
In a prepared statement through Chief Timothy Grenno of Whitman Fire- Hover’s career was highlighted: He began his career as a call firefighter on April 1, 1986. Two years later, he was appointed a full-time firefighter on Aug. 30, 1988, and then promoted to lieutenant on Jan. 24, 1999.
Chief Timothy Grenno thanked Hover at the retirement event and emphasizing his level of commitment to all those in attendance. Grenno recounted the afternoon (Monday) that kept him working right up until he sent a direct order that “he leave the building fire in Brockton because it was time to retire.” Maybe a first under his command to tell someone to return to retire, which was lighthearted but purely engrained in Hover’s commitment of character.
“Lt. Hover gave 100% every day and was a dedicated and professional member of this department,” Grenno said.
“Bob made a tremendous difference to this department with his strong work ethic and knowledge that you can’t replace. He was the epitome of a good firefighter and fire officer, and we will miss him greatly.”
On the horizon Bob requested a “man-cave” from his wife Karen. His new found time will be spent with family- the couple is looking forward to milestones with their three, young- adult children, camping and experiencing time on the open road with his motorcycle.
Bob a self proclaimed non- lover of snow will now be home to shovel and clear the driveway all winter long.
Karen said “having Bob home for snow storms and holidays will be different but a much welcomed change at their home.”
He also received various gifts, a hand carved shield from his duty crew, a flag that flew over the state house, and countless cards with well wishes.