Retired Orange County captain shares fire service history through humor and stories

December 16 • 2023

When it comes to the fire service, retired Fire Captain Dave Hubie Hubert, from Orange County Professional Fire Fighters Local 3631, knows that even in the face of danger, a good laugh is the best extinguisher. 

Clocking in more than 30 years in the fire service, Hubert served in many positions including fire fighter, fire training officer, and fire defense coordinator, before his retirement in 1997 as fire captain from the Orange County Fire Authority. 

Barbara and Dave Hubert on fire steamer engine.

“I’ve been a union member for 33 years,” said Hubert. “I started with the county fire station that had 20 fire stations, and when I left, they had about 80 fire stations. I was also with the public information department, and I saw the need that the average person doesn’t have about what the fire department is all about.”  

In retirement, he quickly dove into a fresh endeavor, letting his enthusiasm for the fire service shine through as a cartoonist and author, infused with a generous dose of humor. “I am a humorist. We have a cartoon book, a history book, and a very popular Christmas book,” he said. 

Hubert, the creative mastermind behind “Hubie,” turned his love for the fire service into cartoons that you might have seen gracing the pages of various fire service magazines. In 1996, he decided to take on a new path by restoring a 1902 horse-drawn steam fire engine, an anniversary gift from his wife, Barbara, for their 25th wedding anniversary. 

He hit the road with the “Steamer Team,” a crew of retired fire fighters and volunteers, making waves at community and charity events and spreading the word on public safety and fire prevention. 

It was the ideal way to connect with people about fire prevention and the fire service. We delved into history, we discussed fire prevention. One year alone, we rocked 58 shows,” he recalled. 

Some of his work features titles such as Firemen, Fire Wagons, and Fire Horses, which highlights Hubert’s passion for fire service history, along with Hubie and the Fire Service,Christmas Major: The Fire Horse Who Saved Christmas, which features many historical facts and over 70 watercolor illustrations, and a Hubie Pictures documentary titled The Steamer: An American Icon. 

Now, Dave is eager to keep spinning tales of fire service history, underlining that laughter is the magic ingredient that eases tension, strengthens bonds, and turns those intense moments into pure joy for the unsung heroes among us. 

To contact Hubert or to learn more about Hubie Pictures, visit the link here. Hubert’s works make the perfect gift to fit under a Christmas tree or in a stocking this holiday season. To find out how you can order any of Hubert’s work through Deer Valley Press, visit the website here.