If Tracy Shirley wants to get your attention, he’ll get it; that’s at least part of how he got his nickname, according to the person who is stepping into his position as the next assistant chief of Glasgow Fire Department.
He was commanding plenty of attention Thursday afternoon at a retirement reception hosted in his honor at Glasgow City Council’s chamber.
“Everyone at the firehouse gets a nickname, and Tracy’s no different,” Atwood said. “He’s affectionately known as ‘The Hammer.’”
So one of his gifts, presented in a shoebox, was a hammer.
“We wanted to make sure you had the hammer to carry on,” the chief said.
Then Atwood presented him with another gift, saying it was just from him but Polly Spillman, the department’s secretary, had wrapped it. Shirley opened the well-sealed box, only to find another one inside wrapped in the same paper. He unwrapped that one, only to find another, and then finally inside the third box was a small, completely wooden hammer.
Shirley said that anyone who knows anything about the nicknames around the firehouse should know that, “if you get something you can say in public, that’s really good.”
“I’ve been personally blessed to have you in the office,” Atwood told him.
Shirley said the GFD has been a good career for him, and he couldn’t think of any job that would have been more satisfying.
“It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love and the hardest job you’ll ever leave,” said Shirley.
He told the people gathered that the department hasn’t gotten rid of him completely.
“They’ve got really good coffee, and I’m going to go drink coffee with them,” Shirley said.
For the rest of the story, read Friday's print or e-editions.