Lieutenant Bradford Turner Clark, a native of Hanover County, joined the Hanover Fire EMS Department in 2005. Brad served his first eight years as a firefighter/EMT in operations at some of the county’s busiest stations. He was passionate about mentoring others to be the best at their craft. He was unselfish with his time and talent, realizing he was only as strong and efficient as his crew. His passion for his career in the fire service was unmatched. Brad was a fireman’s fireman. In 2015, Brad was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Brad was deeply committed to the safety of citizens he served and the firemen he trained and led. Brad was known for the nearly never-ending smile on his face, quick wit, endless inside jokes with his friends, non-stop texting, and memes and videos sent to those he knew and loved.
Brad was a devoted and loving husband to his wife, Melanie, affectionately known as “Buttercup,” and the father to four beautiful daughters. His girls were the love of his life. Brad was also a beloved son, brother, and uncle. In addition to his duties with Hanover Fire-EMS Department, Brad gave selflessly to firefighters across the country, helping them to expand their knowledge. Brad was a founding board member of the 350’Line, Inc., a Richmond-based non-profit corporation created to further the education of firefighters across the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this role, Brad developed and taught training programs impacting thousands of firefighters across the state. Brad regularly traveled across the United States presenting his own training programs to large fire conferences throughout the country, including Andy Fredericks Training Days, Wichita HOT, Art of Firemanship Days, Making the Stretch, and Walter Sisk Memorial Truck School.
Bradford served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in November 2000 at the rank of sergeant. During his time in the Army, Brad was awarded the National Defense Ribbon, the Army Good Conduct Medal, and two Army Achievement Medals. Brad is credited for saving the lives of his crew during the incident that took his life by warning his crew of the oncoming danger. Two of his crew members sustained life-threatening traumatic injuries in this incident. While Brad gave his life that night, he followed his values and instincts, putting the lives of his crew before his own and taking swift action during his final moments that saved his crew members’ lives. For his heroic actions during his last call, Brad was the recipient of the 2019 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award, which was presented posthumously and accepted by his wife, Melanie.