HOUSTON - The video and images from Friday’s World Series Parade capture a moment of history.
You can scroll through various types of social media and see all angles of the Astros players, to the championship trophy to the hundreds of thousands of people who packed into Houston’s downtown.
Also part of those images is Houston Fire Department tower truck #69. Captain Jeff Jacobs is stationed at Station 69, which is located off the Sam Houston tollway near I-10.
Jacobs is one of the few HFD firefighters who got to ride on the truck that carried several of the Astros star players during the parade.
“It was luck.” said Jacobs of the phone call from the HFD Administrative Office. “They called, they wanted to use our truck and thankfully I was on duty!”
With about 24-hours notice, dozens of firefighters raced to detail Houston’s biggest ladder truck.
“They changed out the batteries because the truck would barely start! Thankfully we got that corrected,” said Jacobs.
One day later, dried streaks of champagne can be seen on the truck’s windows. Orange and blue confetti is still stuck in the radiator and the details from the hour-long parade are still fresh.
“We were expecting people on the sidewalks. We weren’t expecting that PD was going to continually have to part the red sea and push the crowd away. It was pretty amazing. Jason Dennis, my driver, did a fabulous job leading the way,” said Jacobs.
He also helped save the actual World Series trophy.
“At one point, actually Dallas Keuchel held the trophy up over his head and almost hit a traffic signal as we’re driving underneath it. So, thankfully I’m grabbing him by the shirt and telling him, 'Get down! Get down! Get down!' And we managed to save the trophy and thankfully, one of our ace pitchers.”
And then, there’s the run in with Jose Altuve.
The Astros second baseman was running late to the parade. He stopped Jacobs and asked for directions to Minute Maid Park.
“(He said) 'How do I get to Minute Maid?' Well, I already had one of my Houston Fire hats ready. Brand new, clean one. Perfect. Ready to go. And I handed it to him and said, 'Here, wear this.' He took one look at it. Put it on his head and I told him, 'Go that way!' He took off with a police escort to Minute Maid and they took off running!”
Cellphone video taken by Jacobs during the parade captured the moment Alex Bregman yelled “We love you” to fans.
Jacobs is then heard screaming at Bregman to look up. The Astros infielder hadn’t noticed the hundreds of people who packed a multi-level parking garage.
“One of the parking garages, people could not see out of. So, literally, they were sticking their arms out of little, small holes with a camera just to get a picture of us driving by. People in the streets were crying and just screaming, just wanting a tiny piece of seeing what was driving by! When we’d drive by, people that couldn’t be there, you’d watch way out in the crowd, they would be running to try and get up near anywhere they could. Pushing forward, just to be close to that trophy and to see their heroes.” said Jacobs.
“And then whenever George Springer would hold the trophy up, the MVP chants, it felt like your ears were literally going to bleed or burst. It was that loud. I’ve never heard anything like that in my life,” said Jacobs.
The 22-year HFD veteran was able to hold the World Series Championship trophy. He said it’s not as heavy as it looks and when asked about any missed opportunities:
“You know, I got to speak to some of the players. I got to shake hands and do things I think a lot of people will never have the opportunity to do. So, I don’t have any regrets about the experience. It was amazing.” he said.