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Carmel's longest serving firefighter retires

'Every sworn firefighter with the Carmel Fire Department does not know this job without Joe Butts'
captain joseph butts
Posted at 2:56 PM, Apr 30, 2022

CARMEL — Tears and laughter filled Carmel Fire Station 345 Friday night as the department's longest serving firefighter retired.

Captain Joseph Butts was a Carmel firefighter for 40 years. His team describes him as family.

"I love you Joe, my family loves you and we love you. Thank you for all you've done for us and the Carmel Fire Department," firefighter Tim Griffin said.

Saving lives and serving the city of Carmel is a family affair.

"There are literally thousands of people who he has had contact with. It's beyond me to have imagined how many people he has had a direct effect on," Joseph's son, Firefighter Drew Butts, said. "I got to work with my hero for 5.5 years ... On the rare occasions where my dad and I have been on the same truck, [those] will always be my most treasured memories."

Captain Butts' nephew, firefighter Cory Essex, also spoke.

"Another big thing with Joe was 'If you're gonna do it, do it right.' And after 40 years, you've done it right," Essex told the crowd.

Also at the ceremony was the firefighter closest to Joseph, his wife Renee, who is also on the force. The two met on the job and Renee's maiden name? Butz. Renee then fell in love and married a Butts.

A proclamation made April 29, 2022 Joseph A Butts Day.