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Retired firefighter, 88, gets one final ride

Posted on July 23, 2017

ALLEN, TEXAS - It's hard to say how many lives Billy Davis has saved. After more than 30 years as a fire captain in Memphis, Tennessee it's easy to lose count.

The 88-year-old now lives in Allen just a few minutes from his oldest son Frank. This week, Frank and the staff at the Mustang Creek Estates senior living community hatched a plan to take Billy back to his time as a firefighter.

"It really is a brotherhood," Frank said.

Mustang Creek staff coordinated with firefighters at some of Allen's local stations and organized for them to come and pick Billy up in a firetruck. Billy's fellow residents lined the streets to wish him well as he was hoisted into the truck for a trip down memory lane.

"I can't describe it. He changed. It was like seeing my dad 10 or 15 years ago," Frank said.

Billy and the firefighters drove by local fire stations and stopped inside to chat for more than an hour. Billy had many stories to tell. During his 30 years in Memphis, he was on call when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Frank remembers his dad being immediately called in as soon as the news broke.

"And then he was gone for two maybe three weeks. There was so much unrest after that," Frank said.

Allen firefighter Nathan Boyd sat and spoke with Billy for nearly an hour. The two shared stories about their work and how times have changed over the last half century.

"It was much harder then. What he's seen and done is just unbelievable," Boyd said.

Like many children of aging adults, Frank says it's hard to watch your hero get older and frailer. He lives just a few minutes from his dad and visits every day but says what happened on that fire truck will be the highlight of his family's year.

"When he gets down, I will have this to bring up with him. I can bring him back here and that's just great," Frank said.

© 2017 WFAA-TV Published: 12:17 PM. CDT July 23, 2017

@HannahDavisWFAA | Hannah Davis, WFAA