They rush into burning buildings and often comfort members of the community in some of their darkest times. All firefighters are truly extraordinary, but one firefighter has seen it all. 

“I like what I do. I like the firefighting and then when I got into the fire investigation, I like it because it’s always challenging,” says Milton Walker, with the Rochester Fire Department.  
Walker, known to most of his co-workers as Milt, has been dedicated to the Rochester Fire Department for more than 45 years. But, his age has never slowed him down. 

“As long as I feel like I can still do the job, and do it well, I don’t have any plans to leave,” says Milt. “I keep up with the line training, as far as ventilation techniques. I sometimes work with the recruits just to prove I can still do the job, and I still can.”

“When I was a recruit firefighter, Milt could’ve long since taken the pension,” says Battalion Chief Joe Luna. “My first time seeing Milt was on the roof of a vacant while we were cutting it and he shocked me even at that point. He’s a big guy, 6’4″ you know? He just jumps around a roof like a cat.”

Milt jokes that the younger guys are nothing compared to keeping up with grandkids. Plus, the memories he’s collected over the last 45 years are incredible. Ask Milt about a fire at almost any building in Rochester, he can tell you when it happened and how it started. 

“For the first 25 years I can remember every fire I was at, and that was a couple of thousand,” says Milt. “As I switched over to fire investigation, now I’ve done over 3500 investigations so those kind of outweigh the fire scenes.”

It’s his historical knowledge of the department and his dedication to the community that really makes Milt extraordinary. 

Many of the younger guys joke that Milton will spend more time in the department than they ever could. He says, he’s just grateful to have had such a successful career.