Lt. Gughemetti proudly served the citizens of the City of San Francisco for 37 years. Beginning at the rank of Firefighter, Lt. Gughemetti was assigned to one of the busiest engine companies in the country, Engine 3 of the SFFD. He drove Engine 3 as a permanently assigned Driver for over 35 years, knowing every alley, one-way street, standpipe inlets and outlets of every building, and hydrant and cistern locations throughout the Tenderloin District. Prior to becoming a Firefighter, he was an airline mechanic for United Airlines where he was worked on heavy machinery and engines. Lt. Gughemetti was promoted to Lieutenant of In-Service Training during the last two years of his career, hand-picked specifically by the Chief of Department. There, Lt. Gughemetti was instrumental in training Firefighters the art and skill of pump operations, apparatus placement, hose line leads, and securing a patent uninterrupted source of water supply. He is able to mix humor and humility into his teachings and effectively deliver what is by far one of the most critical components on the fireground, how to give and get water. He is known for many of his “Gughi-isms” within the SFFD, including “I don’t care if I have to get water from a toilet bowl, I will get my crew water!” Lt. Gughemetti’s no nonsense approach to the seriousness of the job ever since he lost his own childhood friend and colleague, SFFD’s Lt. Louis Mambretti at a below grade fire in 1995, has inspired and motivated his students to become part of the best engine company.
Lt. Gughemetti has taught the popular “Engine Company Operations from a Driver’s Perspective” with Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac to a resounding positive response as he is able
to share years of dos and don’ts on the fireground to not only deliver the best to the citizens whom we swore to protect and serve, but to ensure that each trip is a round trio home for us, the Firefighters.
Lt. Gughemetti first met Chief Juratovac when he was her Little League coach in San Francisco. She always wondered what he did for a living because he never seemed to work and was always at the games and practices. Lt. Gughemetti has mentored her all her life, particularly after joining the SFFD and the job he loves so much, firefighting. It should be noted that Lt. Gughemetti was in the fire department when women were not even allowed to apply for the job. He was also on the job when the first women entered the SFFD in 1988 and witnessed the struggles they faced. He would always tell the women, “Don’t apologize for being here. Don’t quit. Train!” Upon joining the SFFD, not only has Chief Juratovac continued to play on the fire department softball teams that Lt. Gughemetti coached, but together, they have trained and taught many firefighters on the art and skill of engine company operations. The two of them have a special teaching style incorporating humor and humility, coupled with years of experience to share with others. The audience always walks away re-charged and refreshed knowing that not only can men and women work together effectively to form special bonds, but when they do, the possibilities are endless in making this job truly the greatest job in the world.