"It's been a good run," he said
Roy Heimiller is calling it a career after fighting fires for more than 37 years with the Taft Fire Department and Kern County Fire Department.
"It's been a good run," he said. "It's been a good run, but it's definitely time."
Heimiller is a second generation firefighter. His father, Robert, was a Kern County firefighter who retired in 1981, the same year Roy joined the Taft Fire Department.
Roy's brother, also named Robert, was a career firefighter withe the KCFD as well.
He spent 26 years with the TFD, rising to the rank of captain in 1987.
When the Taft Fire Department was disbanded in 2007, he joined the KCFD as a captain and spent most of his career at Station 23 in Fellows.
The Fellows station isn't one of the busiest, but there's always a lot of work for a firefighter.
In 2018, he had two major out-of-county assignments that kept him on the road for much of the summer and then later in the year.
He worked the large Ferguson Fire near Yosemite national park, and later, went to the Camp fire that killed more than 80 people and devastated the northern California town of Paradise.
But it's people that Heimiller remembers from his long career in the fire service, and one in particular.
Longtime Taft Fire Chief Jim Gaither, who passed away in 2018, was a mentor and a friend.
"He was the best of both wolds," Heimiller said. "He was a good boss ― not that we always got along ― and he was a good friend. He taught me how to treat people."
Heimiller plans to stay in Taft. he;'s the father of seven, with three still in high school.
He plans to "relax a bit," he said
He does have a part-time job at Disneyland, doing inspections and making sure the park is safe.
Heimiller's retirement may not be the end of the Heimiller family in firefighter.
His youngest child,, Robert, 16, is a Bakersfield Fire Department explorer.