Longtime Walpole firefighter retires

WALPOLE, Mass. — After more than three decades as a Walpole firefighter, John Hamilton climbed into Tower 1 for the final time after working his final shift.

“I want to be remembered as a good firefighter. Somebody who made the place better throughout my career,” he said.

As is tradition, Hamilton was driven home in a fire truck. But what the moment even more special was that his son, Keith, also a Walpole firefighter, was behind the wheel and had the honor of driving his father off into retirement.

“He has one biological son, but he has seven more. He takes care of his guys and his guys take care of him,” the younger Hamilton said.

Being a firefighter is all that John Hamilton dreamed of.

He even wrote a letter as a little boy saying he wanted to be a firefighter just like his dad.

Father, son and grandson all in the profession to serve and protect.

“My father was a Walpole firefighter, myself and now my son continues on. Unless you do it and understand it, it’s a family thing. It’s been fun watching him grow,” Hamilton said.

With family, friends and neighbors lining his driveway Hamilton arrived home to a hero’s welcome.

A welcome that was 34 years in the making.

Hamilton won’t fully retire, though.

He’ll remain active with Mass Task Force One and he also started back with the Coast Guard as a civilian electrician.