BIG SPRING, TX (KWES) - Carl Condray is saying goodbye the Big Spring Fire Department. He's served the community as Fire Marshall for 16 years but he's been on the department since 1981.
"I started with the fire department when I was 19. There were eight of us that were hired that year and at that time we had 51 members on our department. Today, I am the last person that was on that list," said Condray.
Condray stood the test of time and he has fond memories to go along with his 35 years of service. In 1996, he brought the first hydrocarbon detection K-9 to Big Spring. At the time, arson dogs cost about $18,000. The department has had three dogs since then and they travel across West Texas helping in arson investigations.
"There's not another dog like that, fire department based agency, anywhere in our area. We served, I don't know how many counties, millions of dollars worth of fire, seven or eight fire fatalities," said Condray.
Another accomplishment Condray is proud of is the the fire prevention education he's been able to share with school children across West Texas. The departments own a 40-foot trailer from the State Fire Marshall's Office. They take the trailer to about 12 counties reaching 13,000 school kids.
"We had an individual child who had been through our fire prevention program lead his family out of a house fire. Led his parents out. We saw it work," said Condray.
Looking back on his past, Condray said he wouldn't change a thing, but it's time to focus on his family and get some much needed rest.
"My last day will be July 1 because I wanted to go out before July 4," Condray said with a laugh. "I had hoped to see fireworks from some cruise ship. That hasn't happened, but I'll be out of town on July 4 for sure."