A wise man always listens to his mother.
Neal Karo did just that on Sept. 23, 1959 and the community of Brownsville has been rewarded by his commitment to the Brownsville Rural Fire District ever since. That day marked the start of Karo’s 60 years as a volunteer firefighter.
“There was a fire in town and she told me to ‘Go uptown and help those firefighters.’” Karo recalls.
He has answered fire calls ever since, even during the days when he was serving in the Air Force in Mississippi and Burns, Oregon. He would respond to calls when he was home on leave.
Capt. Karo, whose sons Todd and David and grandson Tucker, 20, all have followed in his footsteps, has no plans to hang up his turnout gear any time soon, although he admits that at 79 he now takes a role that's more behind-the-scenes.