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Exploring Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad

Father Follows in Son’s Footsteps

Sullivan and Dad

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Sterling Rescue’s motto is “Empowered to save, Inspired to serve.” For some, the inspiration to serve spans generations, with sons and daughters following one (or both) of their parents into fire and rescue services. But what about a father following in his son’s footsteps? This is the case of newly credentialed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Dave Sullivan and his son, Lt. Andrew Sullivan, with Sterling Volunteer Fire Company (SVFC).

In this case, the son led the way. Andrew’s interest sparked at age 3 while attending a Sterling Fire Open House. Once eligible at age 16, he began his service. Now, 14 years later, Andrew is an officer and Silver Life-Member with Sterling Fire. In addition, he holds a career position as a Firefighter / EMT with the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), currently assigned to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

And Dad? Well, Dave retired from corporate life in March 2021. Three months later he joined
Sterling Fire as an associate (administrative) member. In March of this year, he joined Sterling
Rescue and immediately enrolled in Loudoun County Fire and Rescue’s EMT class, graduating
in June 2022. Now, Dave is serving on ambulance crews, supporting the community as a
volunteer EMT.

When Dave considers his motivation for joining Sterling Fire and Sterling Rescue, he notes the
value volunteering has added to his life as a retiree. “I really don’t think I would be a member if Andrew had not been a firefighter for all these years and I was able to witness his commitment as a volunteer,” said Dave. “When I retired, there were two things that became crystal clear. First, I needed purpose, and second, I suddenly had the time to devote to something completely new and different. Now I’m an EMT running calls on an ambulance in a community where I’ve lived for 25 years, what could possibly provide more purpose than that?”

What does Andrew think of Dad following in his footsteps? “I’ve wanted my dad to volunteer with fire and rescue for a long time,” said Andrew. “I’m really proud he was finally able to do something that’s been so very important in my life for so many years.”

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