How A West Broad Customer Keeps Tradition Alive


The sun came up today, and for most of us, we hit the ground with our normal routine of walking to the coffee maker rubbing our eyes and trying to motivate our achy human bodies into a new day. But, for a small portion of the population on this earth, the family of firefighters, waking up comes with knowing that no matter what the day brings or what happens, they will get to spend their day doing the best job in the world. There is no better feeling than breaking the plane of the firehouse door, hanging your gear on the rig, and reuniting with the firehouse family. What the day brings does not matter, who we do this job with and who we honor as we do it, is all that matters. Mission trumps friendship and mission creates family… and out of that ever desired feeling of family that you find in the firehouse creates a ripple effect that causes ordinary people to do extraordinary things. We have a story to share today that shows just that. Below is a short bio from Brendan McGuire about his great grandfather, FF Mac. We were honored to make custom Engine 69 hats for Brendan out of his great grandfather’s retirement firehose.

 FF Claude “Mac” McGuire

Chicago Fire Department

Badge #2151

Engine 69 – Tripp Avenue

West Broad Apparel is proud and honored to have the opportunity to share this short story with you, and how Brendan McGuire is “Keeping Tradition Alive” by honoring his great grandfather “Mac McGuire.” Brendan is starting his recruit school this week, over 60 years after his great grandfather Mac got on the job on Chicago’s Engine 69, Tripp Avenue Firehouse. In the late 1950’s, Mac McGuire joined the Chicago Fire Department. Mac was a blue collar guy, like most firefighters, and was known for working with his hands. He had been known to say he wasn’t made for a desk job, and we all know that in this day and age, that means this is the guy you want showing up to your fireground and getting work done. One of Mac’s best friends, Charles Rauch, died in the line of duty with 8 other firefighters in a structural collapse at a warehouse fire. A few years later, unfortunately, Mac's career was cut short due to losing a battle with cancer in 1968. Mac had one sister and two children. Mac’s son, Claude Jr. had three children, one of whom is Brendan’s father. So, here Brendan is 60 plus years later following in Mac’s footsteps and hoping to be a second generation firefighter, and carry his great grandfather’s tradition of serving others before self for many years to come. 

West Broad would like to thank Brendan for sharing his great grandfather Mac’s story with us, and we are excited to share this with you. “Keeping Tradition Alive” comes in so many different forms and fashions, especially passing the love for the job onto others. To Brendan; be steadfast in the truths of the fire service, always consider others in your service and actions, never lose that love for the job, and don’t let anyone tread on the history you’re currently making. Make Mac proud and know that with every action you take you are not only representing his proud firefighting heritage, but the fire service as a whole. To the fire, to the rescue, and to the roof we go with due regard for those that need us to save their unprotected airways. Let’s go get it done like Mac did. RIP FF Mac McGuire.

- JCraw