Four generations of firefighter family make up nearly half of New London VFD

Four generations of firefighter family make up nearly half of New London VFD

NEW LONDON, TX (KLTV) - Four generations of Rileys run the New London Volunteer Fire Department.

The family makes up about half the fire crew, and they said Monday that all of the family holidays they have missed are worth the work put in.

Fifty-seven years separate the oldest Riley firefighter from the youngest firefighter.

"It's been quite a ride," Archie Riley said.

Archie Riley has been a volunteer firefighter for New London since he was 13 years old.

His grandfather opened the department in 1959 before the town even had a city hall.

"I could roll those hoses up while they guys would fight fires and they would say, 'Come here,' and I would go over there and crank that 150 feet of hose back onto that reel," Archie said.

Riley had three sons, all firefighters as well. They include Curtis Riley, the department chief, Ryan Riley, the training officer, and Rodney Riley, who has since retired from the station.

"There has been many a Christmas and Thanksgiving we have had to postpone because of fire calls," Curtis Riley said.

All three boys always imagined growing up to be a firefighter.

"Firefighters are just more people who want to help their community, especially in the volunteer world, we do it for the same reason my grandfather helped start the department - to save lives and property and to help the community out," Ryan Riley said.

And just a few weeks ago, the youngest generation of Rileys became an official junior firefighter.

"What do you think of when you think of a firefighter? They are heroes," Tanner Riley said.

Fifteen-year-old Tanner Riley has ridden on the back of a fire truck since he can remember.

"He was actually on the truck with his uncle when the 2011 drought and fire disaster happened," Curtis Riley said.

The boys hope to keep the Riley name at the department but say they have always encouraged their children to follow their dreams, no matter where their road may take them.

The Rileys say there are still several positions open at the New London Volunteer Fire Department.

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