Originally one of the nine full-time firefighters hired by the district in 1991, Captain Gainey had already served approximately six years as a volunteer firefighter and volunteer lieutenant after joining the ranks back on May 14, 1985, as a small resort owner at the Lake of the Ozarks.

For the last 32 years, Captain Don Gainey has been affiliated with the Osage Beach Fire Protection District in one way or another, starting off as a volunteer before becoming a career captain.

Originally one of the nine full-time firefighters hired by the district in 1991, Captain Gainey had already served approximately six years as a volunteer firefighter and volunteer lieutenant after joining the ranks back on May 14, 1985, as a small resort owner at the Lake of the Ozarks.

It was officially announced recently that the captain of B-Shift House #2 will officially retire in 2018 and complete his last shift 24-hour shift on December 29, 2017.

Before 2000, service reports and training rosters were completed on paper before making the transition to the internet, so it’s impossible to determine just how many hours Captain Gainey has served his district and community, but that didn’t stop Fire Chief Jeff Dorhauer from trying.

By reviewing the last 17 years of service records, Dorhauer logged 3,923 hours of 911-response time and 3,003 training hours for Captain Gainey and estimated another 3,000 911-response time and 3,000 more training hours in the past 15 years to give him over 6,000 hours a piece in both categories for his distinguished career.

“Additionally over 26 years of career service he spent more than 75,000 hours at the Fire Station or 3,172 24-hour shifts away from his family,” Dorhauer wrote. “These days and nights away include birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. A special thanks to his family as it not easy when your spouse or parent’s job requires them to be away so much, we realize the sacrifice each of you made also.”

By the time Captain Gainey has used all of his vacation and compensation time, he will have given OBFPD a total of 33-years of service and dedication.

“These years of knowledge and experience will be hard to replace and whoever is awarded this promotion has a legacy to follow and large shoes to fill,” Dorhauer wrote. “Captain Gainey brought a work ethic to this job not often seen and every task he completed was to perfection.

Dorhauer hopes that if citizens run into Captain Gainey or his family, they will take the time to thank him and them for his service.

“On behalf of the board of directors, management and staff, we would like to thank Captain Gainey for his commitment, dedication and service. It would be impossible to know howe many lives you touched in a positive way over the last 32 years, but the number would be staggering,” Dorhauer concluded. “You and your family will always be a part of our family. On a personal note to his wife Debby, he is all yours now!”

Information courtesy of Chief Jeff Dorhauer