Volunteer Spotlight: David Fulton

Name: David Fulton
Title: Safety Officer & Certification Officer
Department Name: Pleasanton Volunteer Fire Department
Location: Pleasanton, NE

Why are you an NVFC member?
As I have progressed in my career as a volunteer firefighter, I have grown into roles that are honoring and humbling but require some preparation and materials to be successful.

First, a little history. On August 27, 1961, my hometown volunteer fire department in Millard, NE, responded to a two-vehicle accident a few miles west of town. One of the responders on that call was my uncle. Five of the seven patients were my immediate family. My mother died in that accident, and the other four of us fought for lives with all the support our grieving extended families could give us. I grew up with a great affinity for those volunteers. In 1982, I myself became a volunteer firefighter, and a few years later a volunteer EMT, and I have served in every community I have lived in since. In January, I answered my 700th fire call as a volunteer.

During the decades of service, I have grown into more and more roles, and now find myself serving as the chaplain for the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association (NSVFA). With that position has come the opportunity to reach the 8,000 members of NSVFA with service I never dreamed of. In May, I am teaching a class to the spouses, parents, children, siblings, and significant others of firefighters to help them gain an understanding of what to expect when their loved one becomes a volunteer firefighter and/or EMT. It is only through the materials available from the NVFC that I feel confident that we can help them get a feel for what to expect. The materials related to this class are superb, and I will also be using them to lead the same class for my home department.

Thanks, NVFC, for standing with us and being an incredible resource for volunteers all over the country!

Why are you a fire service volunteer?
It was because others were there for my family and I when we needed them, so I am there for others when they need us.

What year did you join the fire or emergency services?

What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
The most memorable are the tough calls – fatality vehicle accidents; long and trying fire calls; scenes that you wish no one had to witness. The other memorable thing is the relationships built with my firefighter brothers and sisters.

What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
I organized a smoke detector blitz in October 2018, where we secured a $1,550 grant to buy smoke and CO detectors and we blitzed the town. [We visited] nearly every house in town and installed well over 100 detectors and changed out dozens of batteries for residents in Pleasanton. That was rewarding and exciting. Our department also does a summer fundraiser every year to generate funds we use to provide a CPR class to all our high school seniors every year. This way we know they have those skills as they go out into the world.

Personally, I serve as the safety officer for our department and also as the certification officer. In Nebraska, the state provides a small tax benefit to volunteer firefighters who meet the participation guidelines, and the certification officer tracks all member activity and reports to the state annually who qualifies for the tax benefit.

Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org.