Don grew up in a volunteer fire service family and like so many of us, has found that spirit in his blood with a drive that will not
quit. Despite his own father suffering a line-of-duty death when Don was seven years old, this did not deter his spirit but in fact
may have given him more of a personal drive to continue the service that his father so loved.
Don started his volunteer fire service career with the Jessup Volunteer Fire Company in 1978. He later became a member of
the OVFC in the spring of 1987. Over the years, he rose through the operational ranks and served as our Fire Chief in
2010 and 2011.
Don is one of those members who is always forward-leaning and ready to volunteer his time and effort without hesitation. Many
times, it takes just a simple comment or suggestion and he is already thinking about how to solve the problem or providing a
solution. On occasion, Don's quick reaction and problem solving even seems to get him into trouble and he has to hold
back. It is usually written off to jealousy that he is just so conscientious and efficient in getting nearly any job done.
Don's most recent contribution to the OVFC is the work that he put into the recent remapping of box areas by the Anne Arundel
County Fire Department. Don has long led the company mapping committee and regularly updates the response map
information with hydrants and other water sources but also includes turn-by-turn instructions from the station's front door to
each of the hundreds of streets in the Odenton first-due area - which is growing by leaps and bounds every year. Sometimes,
he can even be found on the streets with a measuring wheel, calculating the water supply hose length down long driveways
and rural roads. Even our surrounding stations have come to rely on Don's detailed maps of new projects in the Odenton response
area and quickly replace any county standardized maps on their units with ones produced by Don. During the recent remapping
of box areas to coincide with the Computer-Aided-Dispatch (CAD) upgrade, Don put in countless hours to transition our
current maps into the new box areas. Each map was touched with the same quality that we have come to enjoy over the years.
Copies were then made for the station, each piece of apparatus, and for our surrounding mutual aid companies. Without Don's
efforts, it is difficult to imagine what kind of maps we would have in our responding units. Not having complete and accurate
information presents a risk to public safety as knowing where you are going and where your water sources are become vital
bits of information during an emergency response.
One other role that Don has taken leadership on over the past few years is his service as Chairperson of our Awards
Committee. Thanks to Don's efforts, our company has been very successful in recognizing the contributions of our members at
local, state, and national levels. As President, it is comforting to know that I have a dependable source that leads this effort on
our behalf. Don is meticulous about deadlines for nominations and makes sure that each letter is drafted with the right words to
have our members recognized. In fact, Don has provided me a letter of nomination for another individual for this AACVFA
award but we are secretly holding that letter for a future quarter while we take the time to recognize Don for his efforts and
contributions to our company.
At the age of 69, many volunteer firefighters have hung up their helmets and settled into their life member privileges and given
up on active role in the response activities. Many even will avoid the administrative tasks that are necessary to operate a
volunteer company. Don recently became a grandparent and decided it was time to "hang up his helmet" and remove himself
from operational responder status. But he remains a dependable and reliable member of the company, helping out with
committee work and special projects. Of special note is his contribution to the mapping project noted above.
Don is a very dedicated, talented and valuable member of our organization, and we proudly submit him for consideration for
the AACVFAFirefighter/EMT/Administrative Member of the Quarter Award.