Salute to Service: NSA Annapolis firefighters protect Naval Academy

The men and women who fight fires in the Annapolis area also served our country in the military.

ANNAPOLIS, MD (WUSA9) - Fire and emergency services personnel are needed to protect the United States Naval Academy just like they’re needed to protect any city’s neighborhoods.

Not only does this station serve the Naval Academy, they also provide support to the surrounding community, including the city of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

“I was in the United States Army and I just like fighting fire,” firefighter Ryan Gallant said.

“I was in the Navy,” Captain Chuck Duran said. “I was on board the Theodore Roosevelt during the ‘91 Gulf War.”

Among the men and women who fight fires and keep the Annapolis area safe are four military veterans who have already served our country.

“I am retired Air Force, 21 years total,” said firefighter David Fickensher. “I did 11 years’ active duty as an aircraft mechanic.”

“I actually served six years’ active duty in the Navy,” said firefighter Devrine Jones. “I’m in the process of going back into the active reserves.”

Training exercises are critical. Whether using a prop helicopter, airplane or structure, these firefighters need to be ready for anything.

“Adrenaline’s kind of fun,” Gallant said. “When we go to help people, they call us for a reason.”

Often, they meet people during their darkest hours.

“For me to be able to provide them service and assistance, it just gives me a sense of pride and honor to do so,” Captain Duran said.

“At the time that it’s going on, you’re just doing your job,” Fickensher added. “But it’s the after effect. A lot of times, you’re like, ‘wow.’”

“You kinda get to watch people get better in your care,” said paramedic and firefighter Lindsay Graham.

Their paramedics even transport patients with service dogs.

“We would either put them in a captain’s chair, make sure that they’re secured,” Graham explained. “We don’t want anything to happen to them. And they just ride to the hospital with us.”

NSA Annapolis serves the Naval Academy, keeping the 4,000 midshipmen safe, along with more two million visitors every year—often VIPs that come by helicopter.

“It’s just an opportunity to give back and I think being a firefighter’s a privilege along with an opportunity,” Jones said.

This impressive fire station honored our Lt. Bunce with a welcome sign and his favorite high-value treats.

“We’re the help on the way. So it’s an honor to serve people.

If you know any heroes serving our community who would like a visit from Bunce, just give us a shout via Facebook or Twitter. We’ll consider any military members, firefighters or law enforcement.


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