Firefighter Andrew Jordan and Capt. David Jordan are both serving in the Panama City Beach Fire Rescue Department.
PANAMA CITY BEACH — A quick quiz: What does Beach Firefighter Andrew Jordan have in common with Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr.?
Answer: They have all followed in their father’s footsteps.
Jordan, 32, joined the Panama City Beach Fire Rescue Department on Aug. 10 following a seven-month Fire Academy training course. One of the more senior members of Chief Larry Couch’s 56-man department is Captain David Jordan, 57, a 29-year veteran of the department and Andrew’s father.
The elder Jordan and his wife, Terri, moved from Memphis, Tenn. to Panama City Beach in 1990, where Terri’s family owned a gift shop. After working there awhile, Jordan bumped into Capt. Mike Skoriak one day and asked if there were any vacancies.
“He said yes, so I filled out the [job application] package on my lunch break,” David Jordan said.
Over the ensuing years, David and Terri raised two sons, Andrew, born in 1988 and Christopher, ten years later. Jordan rose steadily through the ranks, promoted to lieutenant in 1996 and to captain three years ago, becoming the first fire inspector for the department. He said he never wanted to work anywhere else.
“The fire department is like a big community and the wider community here loves us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Andrew Jordan as a boy and teenager frequently told his father that he was interested in becoming a firefighter, but it remained a nebulous idea. But one day last January, David Jordan recalled, Andrew said he wanted to take night classes at the Fire Academy at the Gulf Coast State College’s North Bay Campus.
“I was very surprised,” David Jordan said. “Very proud, but surprised.”
For his part, Andrew Jordan said, “This was something I always wanted to do.” He had held several different jobs since graduating from Arnold High School in 2005, but finally decided at the age of 32 it would be “a better fit” for him.
David Jordan said throughout his career, he has responded to more than 500 fires of every shape and form. He was proud to learn last week that Andrew had made his first fire call to a mobile home blaze near the Boondocks Restaurant in West Bay.
“It was a small fire,” Andrew Jordan said with a smile.
Father and son will serve in the same outfit for just over three years, until Capt. Jordan reaches his designated retirement date of May 3, 2022.
Until then, David Jordan will be serving in the department’s administrative unit as chief fire inspector, while Andrew serves 24 hours on and 48 hours off on the “A” shift at Station 32 on Middle Beach Road.