A firefighter’s final sign-off

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Lt. Al Piening, whom I’ve only met once briefly, just retired from the Cincinnati Fire Department after 46 years. He spent his last years on the department at the firehouse at Clifton and Ludlow avenues in Clifton.

I post this because it brought a tear to my girlfriend Melissa’s eye when she saw and heard this YouTube clip. She loves Al, a guy she called “The Silver Fox” very much, saying he was one of the good guys who treated her fairly and with respect. Watch the clip closely and read between the lines, and if you know anything about the politics of this fire department or a general assumption about many public safety professionals, you can see, with tears in his eyes, why this guy is obviously a big loss for the citizens of Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Enquirer had a nice article about him that ran the day after his last tour on Dec. 26, 2008. I’m headed to his retirement party now.

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