FORT WORTH, Texas — A job as a firefighter, especially at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, is a manly man profession. And when most of the firemen finish their shift they return to their manly man lives.
With one notable exception.
Matt Barnes may be the only firefighter in the country who spends his nights as a girl scout troop leader.
“I am the only one," Barnes said. "I am the only one. And you would think that they would tease me about it. I don’t get teased about it.”
Matt first got involved with girl scouts when his daughter joined a few years back.
"He makes things really fun," she said.
He never really planned on getting too involved, but when the troop leader decided to step down she asked Matt to step in.
He's been leading this group of girl scouts for four years, through cookie season and waiting for cookie season.
The girls say Matt is an awesome leader.
"He's amazing," one girl said.
Matt says he's loved every minute because, he says, it's made him a better person but more importantly, a better father.
“You name it, I’ll do it, almost anything she wants to do," he said. "There’s photos of me floating around on Facebook of me in a tutu, fingernails painted pink, toenails painted pink.”
Matt says being silly was never about tutus or thin mints, it was always about setting the same example over and over and over.
“I want her to understand that I have her back and support her cause that way she knows if my dad supports me, the sky’s the limit, I can do whatever,” he said.
Which is why long before he was ever a fireman, he was already a hero.