The trust and cooperation that is required to risk one’s life to help others makes the 20,000 firefighters in the state of Iowa (90% of whom are volunteers) one giant family.

This special bond is illustrated in Iowa’s Firefighting Family with the Butler family of Harlan, Iowa. Patriarch Tom Butler has been fighting fires for more than 20 years and has also inspired his three sons, a daughter, and two in-laws to follow his lead. During the program, the family talks about working together to help their community, the ups-and-downs they’ve experienced along the way, and their role as a small branch of a much larger family tree.

The program also visits with other firefighters from across the state, and drops in on “family gatherings” like the annual state firefighters’ convention and firefighter memorial ceremony.