El Dorado Firefighter Dylan Woodbridge has been making trips to the Pensacola, Florida area to visit family and friends every since he was a young child. During one of those early trips he tried out the sport of scuba diving. One scuba dive and he was hooked.
As he got older Dylan had the goal of becoming a firefighter. He attained that goal a couple years ago when he was hired as an El Dorado Firefighter.
Dylan loved his job as an El Dorado Firefighter, but he just couldn’t get the love of scuba diving out of his thoughts. So, he set a new goal for himself. He set a goal of becoming a Pensacola Firefighter.
The sad news is that we are losing Dylan.
The happy news is that Dylan will soon fulfill his Pensacola Firefighter goal. After seven trips to Pensacola he has made it through all the hoops . Dylan doesn’t have an official date yet, because they are hiring a group of firefighters and they need to figure out all the logistics.
The value a person brings to their workplace, and life in general, shouldn’t be gauged in the number of days they work. The value should be gauged in the quality in those days. Dylan is an incredible firefighter.
In the old days of fighting fire – before all the fancy protective gear – the firefighters would use their ears to gauge the heat. When the ears started toasting up then it was time to retreat. Now we have what’s called “nomex hoods” to protect our heads and face – excepting around the eyes.
The eyes would have to be protected by a mask. But, even the areas that the nomex hood can protect are subject to toasting if the hood isn’t pulled over them.
Case in point?
Resident Firefighter Bryson Gann didn’t get his nomex hood pulled up over his nose during a recent wild land fire. And the result? For a few weeks he will be known as “Rudolph the Red-nosed Firefighter”.
A whole lot of Butler County people showed up at the First United Methodist Church in El Dorado this past Saturday morning. They were there to show their respect for retired Fire Chief Ralph Green.
There were fire personnel, law enforcement, emergency management, cowboys, and citizens from every walk of life. Not only was the ground floor seating completely full, so was the balcony.
Numerous personal item were spread across the front of the cathedral with two large picture screens showing pictures of Chief Green at different times through his life.
Retired El Dorado Fire Officer Rick Whiteside shared stories as did Pastor Andrew.
But, this wasn’t the only presence of Butler County people.
Early in the morning fire crews from Augusta, Towanda, Benton and others arrived in El Dorado with their firefighters and their fire trucks. They were there to to cover for fire protection so the El Dorado Firefighters could attend the Chief’s service and not get called out for a fire. Major Ray Marbury commanded the team.
It looked like the mutual aide presence wasn’t going to be needed. Then just as the funeral procession arrived at the cemetary, that oh-so-common emergency tone sounded. Dry conditions have put Butler County in a mega-wild land fire mode. And here was another.
But, our Brothers were there to cover. So, the El Dorado Firefighters remained at the graveside, listening to the last rites, and getting to pay their last respects to the Chief’s family. While the Brothers fought and extinguished the fire.