Submitted by His Wife
Bill started his introduction into the fire service at age 25 working with the Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department in Canton. In 1996 he be came a member of the Dekalb County Fire Department and from there his love for being a firefighter took off.
Over the years of his career he became a well known state and international instructor. In 2000 he started the Georgia Chapter of FOOLS (Fraternal Order Of Leatherheads Society). Bill was known for being an ‘old school’ fire fighter. He always wore his leather helmet in every fire and never deviated from that. He lived by ‘old school’ rules and the survival of brotherhood. It was his passion to make sure everyone came home. With that passion he developed a class that Dekalb County is now teaching to each and every fire fighter. He wanted to make sure everyone was safe‚ and knew how to get out safely.
In 2001 he was awarded the 300 Club award. This award is given to public safety personnel that saves someone elves’ life. Bill climbed a tall cell tower and rescued a person that had collapsed from heat exhaustion. In 2004 Bill received ‘Fireman of the Year’ from Dekalb County for his ability to exceed above and beyond the call of duty.
Though Bill did serve for his country for 5 years as a Marine‚ his love was for the fire service. Through his years of working as a fire fighter he also volunteered as an active Assistant Chief for the Bethany Salem Volunteer Fire Department Station 8 in Pickens County.
As his wife‚ I always told him that his first love was the fire department then me. He would laugh then say maybe. That was his way of giving me a hard time. I have many wonderful memories of him. All the horseback riding and the famous 8 seconds on a bull. As for Colby‚ he remembers his daddy playing cars with and hiding from him and grabbing me to help find him.
Bill’s overwhelming achievements and knowledge will be remembered for many years to come. His legacy will be handed down from generation to generation. Family and friends never realized the large impact he made on other peoples lives during his career. Bill was never one to brag or boost about himself. He always stood in the corner and just watched! He will forever be missed. Bill was 37 years of age and served as a Fire Fighter III.
In May of 2006 Bill was on shift and working a second fire when he suffered a massive heart attack with several other life threatening complications. His brother’s treated him on scene then transported him to the hospital where he stayed for 40 days until June 13 of 2006.