COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Three generations of Columbus Fire Fighters, all privileged to wear the same badge.
For the Smith family, Columbus Fire badge number 220 was held by Lauren “Grandpa” Smith Sr., since 1948. Years later Lauren Smith Jr., would join the force in 1988. His father passed on the badge to him in 1989.
Following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, Lauren Smith III became a Columbus firefighter in 1999.
Today, after 28 years with the badge, in a surprise ceremony, Smith Jr. passed on badge 220 to his son.
“It means a lot that I get to honor my grandfather and my father and carry this badge on,” said an emotional Lauren Smith III.
“I am so proud of him he’s worked all his life for this,” said Smith’s mother, Kylean Williams. “He has always followed his dad everywhere.”
From emergency calls, to learning everything there is to know about CFD. That legacy will be continued, but Smith III worries about not having his best friend, his father by his side.
“You kind of feel like you are losing your best friend. I always knew he was here. I could call him if I had problems or questions,” said Smith III.
“For him to carry the badge on it means a lot to me,” said Lauren Smith Jr., holding back tears. “Wear the badge proudly.”