Jimmy’s first assignment was as a road trooper in Rockville, then at Andrews Air Force Base, before being assigned to the aviation division in Cumberland in 1991.
“We fit the bill,” Bobby said.
“I never went to work a day in my life. I loved my job so much,” Jimmy said.
The last few years, the brothers both worked in the Cumberland barrack, with Bobby working the day shift, while Jimmy was on nights.
“We used to joke that in a bad accident, you’d get picked up by one us. You’d get a Harsh,” Jimmy said.
Both were firearms instructors and Bobby was a primary aerial rescue instructor for 10 years for the aviation division, assisted by Jimmy for two years by Bobby.
Both men are married to nurses and many of their cousins work in the medical field. They each have three children.
In the past few years, the job had taken its toll, though, especially as they deal with medical issues of their own.
Bobby was diagnosed with melanoma on his left cheek at the end of 2007, which required extensive surgery in early 2008. About eight months later it metastasized to the lungs.
In July 2011, Jimmy’s daughter Kaitlyn Harsh, then 14, was diagnosed with leukemia. She missed her sophomore year at Williamsport High School.
She celebrated her 16th birthday on Thanksgiving.
“That was one of the reasons I decided to hang it up when I did. When you have a kid, it makes everything different. Being on this end instead of the other end is pretty devastating,” Jimmy said.
Jimmy keeps busy as advanced life support coordinator for CMT and his side business as The Mulch Man, which is expanding to full-time.
Bobby works as the mechanic for CMT and helps around the family farm. Even though Bobby was eligible to retire in May, he waited until July so the brothers could retire together.
“I don’t look at is as retiring, just changing careers. After I got sick, I was off work 16 months for treatment. I decided the adrenaline was for younger people,” Bobby said.