ENNIS — Thomas Parsons shares his insight and memories of daily life at the fire station in his second book, “The Red Notebook,” that will be released in October.
Parson’s career in the fire service spans more than 45 years. He currently serves with the Central High Volunteer Fire Department near Ennis.
His first book, “The Firehouse Kitchen,” released in 2012 and tells the story of a small department, the situations the characters find themselves in and the bond they share while serving the community. The Red Notebook is a continuation of the story and follows how the firefighters try to preserve its history for future generations.
“This is a story of the same characters and in this novel, a company officer has collected news articles and little mementos and wants to create a book. The captain then gets frustrated and throws the notebook in the garbage,” Parsons said. “The cook then gets a hold of it and says, 'there might be some potential here.' The story is of the trials and tribulations of him getting going with this book. It tells also about the day-to-day activities of firehouse living.”
Parsons states that book is very relatable to people that have worked in the fire service. The material for the story Parson used comes from his own experiences and details he had written down over the years
Parsons started his career as a firefighter in the Air Force while stationed at Pope Air Force Base. While there, he joined a volunteer fire department off-base in Spring Lake, North Carolina where he learned the basics of firefighting. After leaving the military, Parsons started his full-time career with the Fayetteville Fire Department in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He served there for four years.
After leaving Fayetteville, he joined the Fort Bragg Fre Department as a civilian firefighter. After 25 years in civil service, Parsons retired as a training officer. After moving to Ellis County in 2001, he became a member of the Central High Volunteer Fire Department.
Parsons noted that many of the characters in the book are composites of several people he has worked with over the years.
“There were a lot of positive comments about the first book like I know someone like that or I can relate to someone like that. My uncle that recently passed said, ‘it tells it like it is,’” Parsons shared. “This book like the first is gentle humor. There is nobody that gets alienated.”
The Red Notebook is being published through Christian Books out of Meadville, Pennsylvania. It is also available for purchase from Amazon.com for $21.95 for a paperback or $9.95 for the eBook.