Lt. David Jeffrey Little was born in Sylacauga, Alabama, to Isaac Paul and Mary Carter Little on April 19, 1963. He began his public safety career in 1981. After graduating from Sylacauga High School, he attended Trenholm Technical College and obtained his EMT-Paramedic certification working in the private ambulance field.
His fire service began in April 1984 with Childersburg Fire and Rescue, where he started as a fire medic and worked through the ranks. In 1993, he was promoted to captain/emergency medical services director. While in this position, he was responsible for the daily operations of the department’s paramedic rescue unit and three advanced life support transport units. He held this position until 1998, when he was moved to the administrative captain/hazardous materials director position. As HAZMAT director, he directed a Level A hazardous materials response team. As training officer he conducted fire and EMS training for the department’s career and volunteer firefighters and paramedics, ensuring compliance with state and national continuing education guidelines.
Lt. Little moved to Waycross, Georgia, in November of 2000, when he married Sherry Dianne Hosey Little. He began his career with the Waycross Fire Department in February 2002 as a firefighter and was promoted to driver in 2006. In July 2013, he was promoted to lieutenant and commanded an engine company of three members.
In his 32 years of public service, Lt. Little received National Professional Qualifications Board certificates as Firefighter I and II, fire and EMS instructor, fire investigator, and hazardous materials technician. He was a self-contained breathing apparatus specialist, also known as a “smoke diver.”
Jeff had one son, David Baker Little, born August 7, 1995. One of Jeff’s favorite father-son outings was the two of them spending the day on the lake, teaching fishing skills to his son. They also loved shark fishing on St. Simon’s Island. Jeff had two stepsons, Michael and Matthew Grubb, with whom he enjoyed some Alabama Roll Tide Football.
Jeff was a bright spot in everyone’s day. He took the negative and made a positive. He was always encouraging and never seemed to let life get him down. When he got his feet knocked out from under him, he just started climbing right back up that ladder and faced life with a smile. He made my heart smile then and now.
Jeff and Dianne celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary on November 10, 2013, and he lost his life on December 15, 2013. Jeff was my friend, my love, my husband, and forever my hero. He died doing what he loved. If I had one wish it would be that I would have met him sooner so I could have loved him longer. RIP, Lt. Jeff Little, my love.