A lot can happen in 30 years.
Children can be born and
raised to adulthood, starting families of their own; businesses and communities can grow; political shifts can transpire…30 years can change the world, and for the last 31 years, David Crawford has served with the City of Chattahoochee on its rosters as a firefighter.
Beginning officially on the city’s books, Crawford started as a hybrid dispatcher and volunteer firefighter in October 1990; although Crawford himself says it has been much longer than that – he began volunteering for the city’s dispatch and fire department in the 1970s, when he was only 17 years old.
Now, decades later as Crawford approaches his 65th birthday, he’s decided its time to step back and let someone else lead Chattahoochee’s fire department.
Chattahoochee has a hybrid-model fire department – while the brunt of the fire service relies on volunteer man-power, the city does pay a chief to oversee the department, and volunteers are paid to stay at the fire station for overnight shifts, thus giving the town 24-hour coverage and keeping ISO (insurance rates) ratings low for city property owners.
Since November 2014, Crawford has been Chattahoochee’s fire chief, and has more-than-not been the man on duty for weekend shifts at the fire station.
“I’ve missed a lot of Christmases, parties, birthdays, anniversaries,” said Crawford. “I had to be there at the station.”
According to Chattahoochee’s City Manager Robert Presnell, that service has not gone unrecognized by the city.
“David Crawford’s service has been invaluable to Chattahoochee,” said Presnell. “He spent every other weekend at that fire department. You just don’t see that kind of volunteer spirit these days.”
In addition to volunteering (with part time employment) with the city’s fire department, Crawford was also balancing several other jobs on his plate at once – although currently, he’s cut back to just the one: his employment at the Florida Department of Corrections, where he is a sergeant.
Crawford says he hopes to retire from the department of corrections as well, later this year.
Of his time at the Chattahoochee Fire Department, Crawford is particularly proud of overseeing an agency that has brought a reliable fire and emergency response to the town, therefore lowering the insurance rates that property owners have to pay through ISO ratings.
During his time at the fire department, Crawford saw the ISO rating drop from a 6-rating to a 5-rating (1 being the best, and 10 being the worst on the ISO scale).
“For a small community, moving that up the ladder to the residents makes an impact,” said Crawford.
“The city cannot thank David [Crawford] enough,” said Presnell.
On December 31, 2021, Crawford officially retired.
The city didn’t go long without a fire chief, though.
On January 1, the city officially appointed Sammy Rudd as it’s new fire chief.
Rudd has been with the city’s fire department since 2003, giving him 18 years of service to the city.
Ashley Hunter – email@example.com