Todd Whitney Hage
- Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department
- North Carolina
- Age: 42
- Year of Death: 2007
Submitted by his Parents
Todd Whitney Hage
Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department – North Carolina
Date of Death: August 11‚ 2007
Todd lost his life last summer in the line of duty with the Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department‚ near Charlotte‚ NC. Responding to a fire alarm‚ the pumper he was driving left the country road and overturned‚ hitting a tree. He left a wife and two young daughters.
Todd was ‘born to serve’ stated one of his former Navy captains. He added ‘If it wasn’t his country and his government and his Navy‚ it was his community – and he died serving his community.’ While serving on the USS Connyingham and USS Yorktown his commanding officers stated Todd was one of the most professional officers serving under their command. It was on his deployment on the Connyingham in 1990 that a disastrous fuel fire at sea resulted in the fatality of one of his best friends. The ship was saved at sea but scuttled later. At the age of 25 Todd supervised the arrangements for a military funeral for his buddy.
After serving his country for thirteen years as a Lt. Commander in the Navy‚ Todd and his family moved to Weddington‚ NC where he worked as a financial analyst in the banking industry. Being one of the first residences in their new community it didn’t take long for Todd to begin organizing the neighborhood and serve on the many neighborhood committees. Those who spent time with Todd knew him as a great father‚ friend and patriot – one who was always giving of himself to others. Todd was a role model and an inspiration to many of them. His neighbors acknowledged that Todd was indeed a man who cared for so much about others and an individual who both served his country and his neighborhood. As a symbol of his philosophy the neighborhood recently has erected a tall flag pole in front of the club house with a huge American flag in honor of Todd‚ and a plaque with one of his sayings ‘If Not Us‚ Then Who?’
‘If Not Us‚ Then Who?’ When asked why he served as a volunteer firefighter at Wesley Chapel‚ Todd responded ‘If not us‚ then who?’ This motto now appears on all fire apparatus‚ T- shirts etc. in the department. He joined the WCVFD in 2006 and became Rookie of the Year eighteen months later. He was SO proud of this award. Yes indeed‚ Todd loved the fire department but more importantly‚ loved the firefighters who give so much of themselves. We are proud of our hero son‚ brother‚ husband‚ and father. We all miss him dearly!
LT Hage was my Department Head on the USS John Young. I was his Department Leading Chief Petty Officer. I remember him always walking around underway wearing a pith helmet and smoking a good cigar. He frequently would ask me “Bos’n, what do you think?” I came to this shop as a brand new Chief Petty Officer and left as a Senior Chief three years later. I attribute my many successes on this ship to his leadership and encouragement. We worked so well together. I have worked for many Department Heads and officers through my 21 year career. Todd was by far the best and most respected. I am saddened to see the world has lost such an amazing man. He will be missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.– Brian Morris