Engineer Teddy Stubbs has seen a lot of changes with Bennettsville Fire Department after 40 years.
After helping to put out a fire at a motel in 1975, Stubbs realized he really liked it.
"I always loved to meet people, help people and cared about the community," he said.
Before the fire, he had not thought about being a firefighter.
In 1978, Richard Quick was the fire chief and got Stubbs on the fire department.
In the Bennettsville Fire Department, he has served under seven chiefs.
He was a volunteer from 1978-1983 and became fulltime in 1983.
He retired on Oct. 1, 2013, as a lieutenant but came back on Nov. 1, 2013.
Stubbs gave up the position so it would go to a younger person.
Stubbs has also been a member of Brightsville Volunteer Fire Department for 11 years.
He has since joined Blenheim Volunteer Fire Department because his daughter Candace Renee Stubbs is a lieutenant there.
"It tickles me that my daughter is following in my footsteps," he said. "I want to be there to help her out as much as I can."
He also has a son Teddy Brian Stubbs.
Stubbs has been married to his wife Vivian for 11 years.
As a firefighter, one of his memorable calls was to a double-wide trailer fire where a little dog was brought out.
He remembered him and Lt. Thomas Dew giving the dog oxygen to save him.
"We saved his life," Stubbs said. "She (the owner) loved that little dog. She wasn't worried about the house."
For him, being able to help others by saving their property and lives is its own reward.
Stubbs enjoys going to various community events meeting people.
"The taxpayers are the ones who own the fire department not us," he said. "We work for the city. It belongs to the people. We need to be out with the people."
One of the biggest changes was the equipment.
"In the older days, you would mostly eat the smoke," he said. "You didn't have air packs and stuff."
Stubbs has never liked to see anyone lose anything to fire.
"It only takes a few minutes to destroy it all," he said.
He doesn't see himself stopping at 68 years old.
"As long as I'm moving," he said. "I am going to work as long as I can. The good Lord has really watched over me."
He added that he gives praise and glory to God.
"Without him, I am nothing. He gives me the strength to go on," Stubbs said.
In addition to his daughter in the fire service, Stubbs' twin brother Freddy was on the Bennettsville Fire Department for 20 years.
"He was a good firefighter," he said.
Stubbs is proud of the Bennettsville Fire Department. He said they have a good department, a great chief in James Jackson III, good lieutenants, and volunteers.
"I feel like we are going to move up real good," Stubbs said. "Before I really retire, I want to see this department be the best in the state."
He encouraged young people to learn more about the fire service.
One way would be to participate in the department's summer camp in June.
It is open to ages 12-16, the camp will be from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on June 17-20 at the Northside Station, 718 Oakwood St., Bennettsville. The cost is $25 and includes lunch.
Applications are available at the downtown station, 201 John Corry Road or by calling 843-479-9001, ext. 321.
The camp is limited to 25 students. Deadline to apply is May 31.