Just before noon on Town Meeting Day, the Underhill/Jericho Fire Department comes to life. There's a fire alarm going off at Maple Leaf Farm, a drug and alcohol treatment center that recently closed. The firefighters take off on a five-mile journey to check it out.
Kitty Clark stays behind. She's on dispatch.
"Everything gets documented," she explained.
Kitty's husband, Randy, is gearing up, too. Now in their mid-70s, this husband and wife team has been part of the fire department for a long time.
"I take my video camera, just like you. But mine is a little smaller," Randy said.
Collectively, the Clarks have about a century of service answering calls, many in the middle of the night.
"That tone goes out-- I go," Kitty said.
Randy is the former fire chief. He no longer fights fires but is the guy on the scene who comforts the afflicted. He also documents the fires and accidents for training.
"Can I relay for you, command?" Kitty says into the radio.
"They will never find somebody as dedicated as she is," Randy says of his wife.
This is a love story that goes way back.
Reporter Joe Carroll: So you were childhood sweethearts, huh?
Randy Clark: We were.
Kitty Clark: In first grade.
Randy Clark: I drew her name in the first grade for Christmas.
They lived across the street from each other and after high school got married. Randy's dad was fire chief and so was one of their sons. In fact, four of their boys have volunteered at the department.
"I just figure, hey, why should I sit home?" Kitty said.
Kitty is so dedicated that she was the first woman to be named the Firefighter of the Year in Vermont.
"Code 2, which means they can downgrade," Kitty said.
"Oh, we have two of them coming back," Randy said.
The call turns out to be a false alarm. The crew, including two of Randy's sons, are heading back to the station.
Joe Carroll: It's only appropriate they would be cleaning your truck.
Randy Clark: Isn't it? I think so.
For 50 years of service, Randy had a truck dedicated to him.
Joe Carroll: Let me ask you this. Are there some people in town who thinks it's too much of a family affair?
Randy Clark: I'm sure. But as I've told people, it's not the Clark fire department. Each one of those people have a first name and each one of them are different.
At the Underhill town meeting, the Clarks get a surprise.
"We discovered the other day that Randy Clark and Kitty Clark have given combined over 100 years of self-sacrificing service to the Jericho/Underhill Fire Department," announced Jim Carroll, a friend of the Clarks. "They're the best in the state at what they do... Randy and Kitty, we want to thank you so much for what you've done."
A lifetime of service saving the lives of others.
Joe Carroll: Proud of your family?
Randy Clark: Oh, yeah. The whole fire department members are part of my family.
PO Box 4508