Volunteer Spotlight: Ron Roy
*Note: Ron Roy serves as an NVFC Director from Washington
What is your career?
Why are you an NVFC member?
I believe that the volunteer firefighter is one of the largest underrepresented groups in the nation. Because we are volunteers, we have other jobs that limit our participation in representing ourselves. Everyone can’t just participate in a meeting or gathering at given times without taking a vacation day or no pay in order to attend. So many activities occur between 8 and 5, Monday through Friday to accommodate the corporate world. I always want to be available as a representative of every volunteer firefighter the best I can and as often as possible, but once in a while I am required to work also.
Why are you a volunteer firefighter?
I was asked by a fire chief one day if I had ever thought about being a volunteer firefighter, in which my reply was no. He told me I should think about it and gave me the name of the chief for where I lived. It was an instant fit for me as to the return from the community for your dedication as a volunteer firefighter. Everyone loves the firefighter, especially the volunteer. When they have a need in an emergency, they are so pleased that you are willing to give up your time to come to their aid when their lives are being disrupted or destroyed. Nothing brings a bigger return than a heartfelt smile and a thank you. That is my payday!
How long have you been in the fire service?
What are your memorable moments as a firefighter or EMS provider?
I never thought when I joined in 1973 that I would still be providing a volunteer service to my community in . But the one incident that has been the ultimate reward and still keeps me going was in about 1985-ish. We responded to a fully involved house fire in the district. The family had all exited the home and stood out on the street watching the entire firefighting efforts. The home was severely damaged and we were doing our best in the salvage and overhaul efforts. I had come across what were the remaining items of a large jewelry box. I carefully gathered all of the items that were on the ash covered floor and delivered them to the mother of the family. She cried but was so very thankful because that was her entire collection of family heirlooms. I had delivered her a lifetime of her history that she had thought was gone forever. And she gave me the reward of my career, that smile and a thank you.
What contributions have you (and your department) made in your community?
I have the opportunity to live in a great rural area in central Washington State which in turn allows me to volunteer for the greatest fire departments around. I spent 19 years at one department and have served my current department ever since.
I believe that the fire departments in this general area provide a stable humanitarian core of service that resonates throughout the communities. From Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth of July events, to birthday parties at the station and mini pumper rides, everyone is out there representing their departments while providing food, funds, and sharing their talents with those that may be in need in providing for their children and themselves. I am humbled to be a volunteer servant in my community, because everyone here in the fire service are also residents of our communities. I am so very thankful to be a part of the fire service as a volunteer.
‘Voluntarius Fastu, Honoris et Humilitate’ – Volunteer with Pride, Honor, and Humility
* Interested in serving your community? Find volunteer fire service opportunities at www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org.