WEST MANCHESTER TWP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — One York County fire department has generations of moms and families to celebrate on Mother’s Day, not to mention the traditions they’ve passed down.

Three generations of Micki Rife’s family have worked in the West Manchester Township Fire Department, going back decades. She said firefighting is in their blood.

“It is kind of like a family business,” she said.

Many firefighters say the firehouse is an extended family, but for Micki, it really is.

“My uncle originally was the first one that joined the fire department,” she said.

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Micki’s dad followed, eventually serving as chief. Her mom and aunt joined the social committee, helping run fundraisers and other community events.

“I made a lot of lifelong friends,” Micki’s aunt Barbara Irwin said.

At 14, Micki took her place as a junior firefighter.

“I do remember my first fire when I turned 16, it was a barn fire,” she said.

Now, after a nearly 40-year career, she drives the engine and helps out on the administrative side as financial secretary. Her son Robert is continuing the family tradition.

“I turned 14, and I was filling out the application,” her son Robert Rife said.

Rife grew up in the firehouse. With his mom, dad, aunt, uncle, and grandparents in the service, he did not really have a choice.

“His first meeting, he was only two weeks old,” Micki said. “I always just say it was in his blood.”

No one was not surprised by his decision to join his family.

“I knew that Robert would always do this because he always has admired his grandfather,” Robert’s grandmother Diana Boyer said.

“He’d always bring the chief’s car, pick me up,” Robert said of his grandfather.

Before Robert’s grandfather — Micki’s dad — retired, the three generations served together, sometimes answering the same calls.

“It was the middle of the summer, hot, annoying, disgusting, but it was just a blast being able to sit there with my grandfather,” Robert said, recalling one memory that sticks out.

Separating their roles as family and colleagues can be hard, but Micki said they do their best to set that aside on the job.

“[Robert was] like you know, ‘Well you know how it is,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I’m still your mom, so I worry anyway,'” Micki said, laughing.

Micki’s mom Diana said she wanted her kids to learn to give back by getting them involved in helping out at the firehouse at a young age. She counts this a success.

“I’m proud of both [Micki] and Robert,” she said.

“My dad was active until he was 80, drove the fire trucks and everything till he was 80, so hopefully I got his good genes,” Micki said. She wants to do this as long as she possibly can.

Micki also said you don’t have to be an active firefighter to get involved. On the social and administrative side, she said there is a role for everyone, and she hopes people consider helping out their local department.