Submitted by her Parents
Chelsea began her training with the Fish River Marlow Fire Department as an eighteen year old Fairhope High School senior. She received her First Responder Certificate from the Alabama Fire College March 27‚ 2005 and Volunteer Firefighter 1 Certificate from the Foley‚ AL Fire Department May 11‚ 2005. Her hard work throughout the 160 hours of training earned her the Certificate of Most Improved Recruit Firefighter from the Foley‚ AL Fire Department.
During the May ceremony a video was shown depicting the various training exercises that the graduates had endured. The Foley Fire Chief told the friends and family’s gathered that he wanted us to see what they had been through. He went on to say that there had been some tough times for the recruits resulting in some becoming physically ill and on one occasion being reduced to tears. Upon leaving the ceremony I asked Chelsea if she was one who got sick. She replied that it wasn’t her and after a short pause – knowing what I might be thinking – said it wasn’t her who had cried either! I now understood the nervous laughter and sidelong glances shared on stage by her fellow male recruits.
During the summer‚ Chelsea enrolled in EMT training while serving with the Fish River Marlow Volunteer Fire Department. On December 10‚ 2005 Chelsea received an offer for full time employment with a local Fire Department and was ecstatic. She shared the news with us and then left to work on the Safety Vessel with two other Fish River Volunteer Firefighters escorting the annual Christmas Boat Parade on Fish River.
We can only imagine how she must have felt that night‚ escorting the beautifully decorated boats‚ Christmas lights reflecting off the water‚ exited about her new opportunity‚ in love and loving what she was doing. Knowing how incredibly happy she was that night is of some solace considering that few of us ever achieve such contentment in our lifetime.
With the parade safely completed and rounding the last curve on the return trip to the marina‚ Chelsea’s boat was struck head-on by another‚ much larger‚ vessel. Chelsea was the last to be pulled from the water and while artificial resuscitation restored her heart beat she remained on life support in an irreversible coma for five days. December 15‚ 2005 nineteen year old Chelsea was removed from life support and set free from the constraints of this world and undoubtedly on to adventures we cannot even begin to imagine.
On December 9‚ 2006 The Fish River Marlow Fire Station was named on honor of Chelsea and is now known as the Chelsea Lyn Garvin Station.
Submitted by her Assistant Chief
Chelsea Garvin had been a member of Fish River-Marlow Fire Rescue for approximately 1 year. In that time she completed the fire fighter 160 hour course and was almost finished with her EMT-B. Her goal was to become a professional firefighter within the following months at a near by fire department.
Chelsea was serving On a fire boat with two other firefighters when a boat heading up the river collided with the fire boat.
Chelsea is survived by her parents‚ Greg and Dee Garvin; her two older sisters‚ Cameron and Laine Garvin and her two younger brothers‚ Cort and Riley Garvin.