Albany, NY — On October 13, Dan Stevens, past chief of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department in Waldorf, Maryland, was recognized for his distinguished career in the volunteer fire service by receiving the NVFC Firefighter of the Year Award. The award was presented in conjunction with NVFC’s national meeting in Albany, New York and is sponsored by Scott Health & Safety. The award was presented during the NVFC banquet, and Joe Guyotte, NVFC Membership & Awards Committee Chairman, presented the award on behalf of the Council. The NVFC awards those individuals whose outstanding achievements in the fire service and community provides examples of exemplary performance.
Stevens’s service as Chief of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department ended in July 2000 after a very busy 13 1/2 years. He served in this position longer than any previous chief officer and has been recognized as one of the outstanding, knowledgeable and dedicated leaders of the volunteer fire services community in Southern Maryland and throughout the state.
Stevens began his fire service career at the age of 16, with the Lexington VFD. He received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Navy as a First Lieutenant in 1972, and went on to receive his Masters Degree in Agriculture Economics and Finance from Texas A&M University. In 1975, he joined that Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department where he served as Fire Marshal for a number of years and specialized in Fire Prevention, targeting pre-school and elementary school children. Throughout his years as Chief Officer, he continued this effort, supporting the annual Fire Prevention Open House Day at his Company’s main station. That effort is being continued to this day.
Stevnes has served in the Fire Operational Division as Lieutenant, and Captain and in 1983 was elected as the Assistant Chief to the Fire Division for a four-year term. In 1987, he was elected to the office of Company Chief, where he served as the Operations leader until June 2000. Under Dan Stevens leadership, the organization has grown from 1 station, 2 divisions, 9 vehicles, and about 130 members, to the present 3 stations, 4 divisions (2 fire, 2 EMS), 27 fire and EMS vehicles, over 260 members, running almost 14,000 call last year, now serving a population of almost 90,000 citizens in the first due area. Prior to his Chief’s position, he also served on the Board of Directors for 9 years, two of them as Chairman.
On the County level, Dan pioneered the development of the current Fire and EMS Cadet Program, in a partnership he established with the County’s Board of Education, the County fire and EMS Associations and the County Commissioners. The Associations underwrote the cost during the first two years and Chief Stevens managed to convince the Board of Education to pick up the cost the last three years. Dan also chairs the County Radio Committee and has done so since it was created in 1988. He has played an instrumental role in obtaining the go-ahead for the new 911 Center recently approved by the County Commissioners.
In addition to many other committees Chief Stevens has been involved with, he serves as an active fire service instructor with the Maryland Fire Services Institute, and teaches the college credited courses each fall and spring, at the Southern Maryland Regional Training Center in La Plata, Maryland. He also continues to take new training classes and seminars to keep up with the many changes taking place in the volunteer fire service. He is presently Nationally Certified as a Firefighter III, Fire Officer II, and Fire Instructor III.
Dan has been a delegate to the County Association, the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association, and to the Maryland State Firemen’s Association (MSFA) for the last ten years. Several years ago he was appointed to serve on the MSFA Safety Committee and the Training Committee. He has been the MSFA Training Committee Chairman since 1999.
At the annual Installation & Awards Banquet of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department in August 2000, Stevens was awarded Engine Company 3 “Fireman of the Year,” and EMS 3 “Member of the Year.” The Maryland Fire Equipment Association also presented him with their first Annual leadership award.