David joined the Water Witch Fire Company of Port Deposit, Maryland at age 16 and was a life member. One of the department’s first EMTs, he served as ambulance captain from 1975-1977 and ambulance secretary treasurer in 1978-1979. He could often be found in the food trailer at the company’s carnivals, flipping burgers and making pizza. He worked with fire prevention programs in schools and with the elderly.
David became a federal firefighter at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Perry Point in 1970 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1985. He retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs Fire Department in 2004, after 34 years of dedicated service to our nation’s veterans. He received numerous achievement awards for his service protecting those who had protected us.
David loved and appreciated the veterans, working with veterans’ organizations at the V.A. and in the community. He was active with the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 135 of Perryville, where he served as SAL commander. David worked at carnivals, served dinners at the post home, and helped raise funds to support veterans.
In 2000, David joined the Community Fire Company of Perryville. He provided fire ground safety and protection for firefighters operating at the scenes of emergencies. Day or night, in any type of weather, David was on the scene providing a refuge for the crews. Often overlooked, these members of the fire department are usually the first to arrive and the last to leave, providing a blanket of security for those on the scene. David was serving as captain when he answered his final alarm.
Family was the most important part of David’s life. He coached his sons’ Little League baseball teams and provided medical support for the Little League and high school football teams. As a member of the Perryville High School Booster Club, he helped raise funds for scholastic and athletic programs. Family vacations were always a high priority for David. Highlights included a trip to the Football Hall of Fame with his father-in-law, taking his youngest grandsons on their first airplane trip, to Lake Tahoe, California, and watching his oldest learn to ski on the slopes of Massanutten, Virginia.
On October 25, 2013, David was struck by a passing motorist while directing traffic at an accident scene. He died on November 7, 2013. The citizens of Cecil County lost a faithful volunteer who offered aid and assistance for 47 years. The entire Cecil County fire services community suffered a great loss and will never forget David’s contributions to each organization he served.
David is survived by Donna, his wife of 41 years; two sons, David R. III (Nikki), Cecil County paramedic, and John R. (Rachel), communications operator for the Department of Defense Aberdeen Proving Ground; and seven grandchildren.