May Volunteer Spotlight
By Associate Member Jessica Harlow
May 31, 2018

This month we sat down with Firefighter Stewart Morris and asked him a few questions about being a member of OVFC.

Stewart lives in Orange, with his wife of 25 years, Tina. Together they have 3 children; Ben, 23, Dana, 21, and Jacob, 19. He has a been a member of OVFC for 35 years. He is an Engineering Manager at Dominion Energy North Anna. In his spare time, he is a Deacon at Calvary Baptist Church in Orange, and enjoys watching UVA sports.

1. Why did you join OVFC?

"Wanted to follow my father and brother in the company. Wanted to help others and learn new things."

2. What is the most rewarding part of volunteering?

"Realizing when you are able to help someone in their time of need. This could be when they are sick or injured or have experienced a traumatic event such as a fire. These are followed closely by the comradery involved with the fire service. The challenge to solve each call keeps me interested and wanting to continue in the fire service."

3. What is one piece of advice you have for new members?

"Go for it! Obtain all of the training/skills you can and apply them to each and every call. We are there to help others and we provide a vital service to the community. Never forget our mission and role."

4. While a lot of the time the primary focus is on the firefighters who are running the calls, their families and the sacrifices they make are often over looked. We took a minute to sit down with Stewart's family, Tina, Ben, Dana, and Jacob and asked them; What is it like to have a husband and father as a volunteer fire fighter?

Jacob: "Having a father as a firefighter, I learned the value of sacrifice. At an early age, I would sometimes wonder why he would leave the family, sometimes for long periods of time. When I would ask, Dad would say that if the roles were reversed, he would want someone else to come and help our family if we were in need, and that resonated deeply with me."

Dana: "I’m proud of the way my Dad puts his life on the line to take care of other people. The bravery, strength, and courage it takes to save lives by giving up your time while simultaneously raising a family is more than challenging. Some people fail, some rise to the occasion. My Dad rises to the occasion."

Ben: "It can be hectic at times having a Dad that is a firefighter, but it is rewarding. It’s one thing to be told to be selfless, to care for others, and to lead by example, but it’s another thing to see your parents to do just that."

Tina: "Volunteering has been a way of life at our house for as long as Stewart and I have been together. We have tried to instill the aspect of helping our fellow main in our children. Our children knew growing up that Dad might be gone for long periods of time on calls, but they also knew he was helping someone that needed help. As a good friend of mine previously in the OCRS used to say when you are praised for something, “Good on you.” So, Stewart, “Good on you” for doing what we should all do in today’s society; helping those in need."