Indianapolis firefighter family patriarch retires at end of year

From left, Darrell, Jeremy and Jason Maners are all firefighters. (Submitted photo)

From left, Darrell, Jeremy and Jason Maners are all firefighters. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

Some things just run in the family, although a firefighting career isn’t necessarily hereditary.

The Maners brothers credit their father, Darrell, with their careers at the Westfield and Carmel fire departments. Jeremy, 35, of Carmel Fire Dept. and Jason, 32, of Westfield Fire Dept., recall memories growing up in the firehouse.

“Growing up we had some good memories of going to see him at the firehouse and growing up in that atmosphere,” Jason said. “It was always fun to go visit and play on the firetrucks and see him in that position of being a firefighter. It was something we always grew up with together, and it gave us that drive to do it ourselves. We saw how much he helped the community, and I know how proud of the position he was. You always have that dream as a kid, ‘Oh, I could be a firefighter.”

Darrell was originally a firefighter with Washington Township, beginning Nov. 17, 1978. But 10 years later, the township merged with Indianapolis Fire Dept. Thirty-eight years and one month later, the 69-year-old will retire Dec. 31. Jason was hired by WFD in July 2009, and Jeremy was hired by CFD in October 2009. So far, six members of the Maners family have been firefighters spanning three generations.

Through the years, Darrell said the biggest change has been safety precautions taken by the departments, but there’s one thing that hasn’t changed.

“You’re always helping somebody, that’s the best part. No matter what it is, somewhere in that run, you’re helping somebody,” he said.

Darrell has no big plans for retirement other than spending time with his family and grandchildren.