For Brent and Brian Fuller, the desire to serve the community they grew up in has been a dream fulfilled. The pair works as first responders, with Brent serving at the fire department for the last 15 years and Brian as a police officer for 13 years.
Brent said his twin brother influenced him to follow his footsteps on this path of service.
“I was in college at Southwest Texas in San Marcos in my senior year,” Brent said. “He went to fire school and he told me, ‘You have got to come do this.’ I guess I had always said that I wanted to be in some type of public service type field.
“I was actually going to school to be a teacher at the time and he would call me and tell me all of the stuff that they were doing,” Brent said. “It always just fascinated me what they were doing. He went to fire school before he went to the police academy.”
Brian shared his brother’s feeling about being in public service.
“Some people call it a following,” Brian said. “I knew that it was sort of what my path was and it was the same as his. We have always had the ambition to do things in the service of giving back. What better way to do that than this? I do think that it is funny that we are twins and wound up on both sides of it.”
After graduating from the fire academy, Brian had to go back to work due to financial reasons and after learning it would be months before he could enroll and take emergency medical training classes. However, by the time he was able to catch up, his license as a professional firefighter had expired. These circumstances led him to join the Waxahachie Police Department.
With one brother a police officer and the other a firefighter, they often find themselves working alongside each other on emergency calls – and Brian said he values that experience when it happens.
“I think that the Townhouse restaurant fire in downtown is one that really stands out,” Brian said. “It was when we were still at the old police department on College Street and I came in and saw that all of the cars were gone. It was foggy and I could see all the lights. So, I ran down here and they were fighting that big fire and we worked in coordination that day.”
Brian jokes that it’s easy to spot his brother on a call with the mustache he sports, describing it as a feature that “can be seen before anything else” as Brent exits his fire truck.
Over the past 13 years of working together, Brent estimates they’ve gone out on hundreds of calls together. He also feels that Brian’s job at the police department has a higher degree of danger and uncertainty over his.
“We are not the first family members that have worked on each side of things,” Brent said. “Big cities have dads and sons working together so it is not unusual. But to go out on a wreck on the highway or go to some kind of call within the city and to look up and see your brother right there, I have always felt like that was really special.”
Brent shares that the job didn’t bring them together, they’ve always been close. He notes how he’ll still tease his brother at times about the 10-minute difference in their ages.
“Sometimes I’ll call him ‘baby brother’ or ‘little brother’ but, at the end of the day, he knows it’s a term of endearment,” Brent said. “You can see that he’s always been bigger than me. There might have been a couple of times in life where I challenged him but that dude has always been a Goliath. So, I don’t toss the ‘big brother’ title around.”
Their jobs have also provided them with the chance to learn from each other, Brian said.
“I think that it is neat to know both sides of everything and learning things,” he said. “Brent came out to our SWAT practice the other day and taught us things on how the fire department does things like forcible entry.”
Their public service careers only add to their special bond as twins.
“It’s just neat to go on a call and look up and see that he’s out there,” Brian said.