A Family with Roots Planted in Public Safety
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 15, 2012, August 15, 2012

The Pugh family tree includes many branches of service.

At the core is Arlington Police Lt. Jeff Pugh. With his youngest son recently becoming an Arlington firefighter, the Pugh family legacy now has more of its roots planted in public safety.

Twenty-one year-old Ryan Pugh became an Arlington firefighter on January 9, 2012.

Twenty-two year old Nathanial Pugh recently became an intern with the Arlington Office of Emergency Management. He will graduate in December with a degree in emergency administration and disaster planning. His goal is to someday follow his Dad into law enforcement.Nathanial's graduate studies will lead him in the direction of homeland security/counter terrorism while his father pursues graduate work in emergency and disaster management.

"I struggled very hard not to push my sons in any specific direction," Pugh said this week during an interview at the Ott Cribs Public Safety Building.

Growing up, he impressed upon his boys the importance of "keeping bridges up and doors opening." He said, "I wanted them to have many options."

The matriarch of the family also influenced decisions in the home. Pugh's wife, Connie, of 25 years currently works as a registered nurse in home healthcare with special needs children in Arlington.

Today, Ryan and Nathanial recall many fond childhood moments with Dad at the police station. They followed his footsteps into adulthood and also joined the Army Reserves where both sons are military police officers. Lt Pugh is a Lt. Colonel and a Battalion Commander.

"The basic belief of service and giving back has always been deeply rooted in us as a family," said Ryan who works out of Fire Station No. 10.

The Pugh Family Tree

At the top of the family tree sits Lt. Pugh's father, a volunteer firefighter in Gillespie County and retired Army officer. At age 66, he became a paramedic.

His son, Lt. Pugh, has devoted more than 20 years of his career to the Arlington Police Department. He is a police commander in the southern sector of the city. The Pugh family said loyalty played into their decisions to serve in Arlington. Lt. Pugh said, "Arlington took care of me and my family while I was deployed overseas."

Like family, public safety is about synergy. That's the topic of discussion at the Pugh family dinner table.

"After the events of 911, public safety lessons showed us how interaction between public safety disciplines and the responses of multiple agencies must intertwine to respond effectively to disaster," Lt. Pugh said.

"All three tornadoes in our city tested our ability to work together, and how we can improve," he said. "Partnerships are so very critical to emergency operations because no one agency alone can do it all. That synergetic effect makes public safety that much stronger."

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