George R. Davidson III Youngsville Fire Department – New York Volunteer Training Officer Date of Death: April 25‚ 2007 Age: 58
George was born June 20‚ 1948‚ in Cornwall‚ New York. His family relocated to Sullivan County‚ New York‚ where he graduated from high school in 1967. George spent four years in the U.S. Navy – most of those four years aboard the USS Fulton as a fireman.
George and his wife‚ Claudia‚ lived in Youngsville‚ New York‚ where George joined the Youngsville Fire Department. He was a skilled craftsman; custom cabinetry was his specialty. George was an avid fisherman and a proud father of Bryan and Colleen. While raising his family and running his carpentry business‚ George worked his way up to serve as chief of the Youngsville Fire Department and as a fire commissioner. For a short time‚ he was a member of Jeffersonville Protection Hose Company.
He remained an active member‚ in addition to accepting a job as a coordinator in the Sullivan County Bureau of Fire Services. Part of his duties was to schedule training for all fire departments in the county. He served in that capacity for several years. He became training officer for Youngsville Fire Department‚ taking a special interest in the young firemen joining their department. Training and safety were primary goals.
After George’s death‚ his family received a letter from one of those young firemen who had just become a career fireman in Poughkeepsie‚ New York. His letter said‚ in part‚ ‘As a member of the Youngsville Fire Department‚ when George showed up‚ he provided a sense of relief; things were going to be OK because George was there. His experience and professionalism provided a safe environment for everyone. Safety was always a number one concern for George. When an alarm came in for the Youngsville Fire Department and George was there‚ I knew I’d be safe. George wouldn’t let anything happen to us; he’d make sure of it himself. Even at fires‚ George would be able to show a new firefighter something and teach them something new. One lesson I learned from George that I’ll take with me for the rest of my life is that there is always something to learn at every alarm.’
Those remarks would have pleased George. That was his goal – to teach the younger guys to stay safe and keep learning.
George passed away on April 25‚ 2007‚ after conducting a live burn training drill. He leaves behind his wife of 36 years and his two children. Although sadly missed‚ George’s family and friends take solace in the fact that he died while doing something he loved and that every time everyone goes home safely‚ George is smiling.