Father’s Day series: Texas fire department welcomes first father-daughter firefighting team 

Grapevine, TX Local 3113 members make history as first father and daughter firefighting team in the department.

June 14 • 2024

Teamwork makes the dream work. 

For Morris Leondar, a driver and engineer with the Grapevine Fire Department and a Grapevine, TX Local 3113 member, one of his teammates happens to be his daughter, Marissa Sauble, a fire fighter and paramedic. 

“I’ve always grown up watching him do it, and I got to a point in high school where I needed to choose a path. At that time, 9/11 was happening, and I just felt like that was where I was supposed to be,” Marissa said. 

Marissa has been in the fire service for nearly two decades and recently had the honor of working alongside her father for the past four years. 

She vividly recalls the moment she decided to join, inspired by her dad’s dedication. “My most memorable moments were visiting the fire station, having dinner with the crew and Dad, and hanging out,” she said. “They had a dog back then. We also had events like the pancake breakfast and Main Street Days, which are big festivals in Grapevine every year.” 

Morris, who retires this January, was initially shocked, but that quickly turned to joy at his daughter’s career choice. 

“We’ve trained her well in the fire service, setting her up for professional success,” he said. “We’re part of the Grapevine Fire Department’s clown troupe, promoting fire safety through humorous methods at schools, festivals, and social events. We’re both on the fire prevention team and served together in the honor guard.” 

I’ve always grown up watching him do it, and I got to a point in high school where I needed to choose a path.

Marissa sauble, fire fighter and paramedic

Looking ahead to his retirement and their many community projects, Morris jokes, “She’s going to have to pick up the slack when I leave.”  

In a moment of laughter between the two, he offers heartfelt advice for his daughter’s future: “If you want to last 30 years or more, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t burn yourself out too quickly. You have to take care of yourself to sustain a long career in this service.” 

“Thank you, I wouldn’t be where I am today without you,” said Marissa.