Chris Pham was born June 3‚ 1976‚ in Saigon‚ Vietnam‚ the fifth of six children. Chris‚ along with his mother‚ Thanh‚ and siblings‚ Calvin‚ Khang‚ and Monica‚ fled the war-torn area in 1979 to a Malaysian refugee camp. Two years later‚ they traveled to the U.S. and made Garland‚ Texas‚ their new home. After ten years of hard work and acclimation to their new environment‚ Chris and his family were able to sponsor his father and other two siblings‚ Mai and Tram‚ to America.
Chris met his longtime girlfriend‚ Kate‚ in 1992. He stole her heart with his boyish smile‚ silly ways‚ and goofy personality. They encouraged each other to pursue their respective dreams – hers to become an optometrist and his to become a firefighter. Chris and Kate became ‘parents’ after adopting their beloved dogs‚ Peanut and Butter. Chris was an incredibly thoughtful and sentimental man; Kate found many letters and cards he had saved throughout the years. According to Chris‚ they had been ‘married for over 30 years!’
Chris always strove to better himself‚ dedicating his life to becoming an exceptional firefighter for the city of Dallas. In 2003‚ Chris became the first college graduate of his family by earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. Then‚ in September 2005‚ his dream of becoming a firefighter was realized. Chris trained extensively to reach his goals‚ becoming a part of Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) and earning superior status on the annual fitness test. Chris utilized his skills on a daily basis as a firefighter and paramedic of Station 49‚ the second busiest station in Dallas. Although Chris treated his career and responsibilities with utmost seriousness‚ he was known for his humor and good natured personality among his fellow comrades. Chris even became a self-proclaimed ‘elite’ member of the Hispanic Firefighters Association‚ since an Asian association had not yet been created.
Chris’s love of being a firefighter was outshone only by the love he had for his family. He became a father figure to his niece and nephew‚ assisting his sister‚ Monica‚ in providing guidance and instilling a strong educational foundation in her children. Along with his siblings‚ Chris cherished the relationship he held with his mother and always made it a priority to care for her needs. Although Chris left far too soon‚ his legacy will live on with the many memories he created with his loved ones.