Volunteer firefighting is a family tradition for David Shephard, a Lieutenant in the Newburgh Fire Department.

“I grew up around it. My dad volunteered, my brother and I do too,” said Shephard

Shepard works full time in asset protection and spends much of his time off training with the fire department. 

“I know it says volunteer, but it’s not part-time,” he said. “We spend a lot of time training on fire suppression, CPR and other first responder procedures. We train just as much as the city guys do.”

The training even includes his family. 

“We have 2 kiddos and they spend time down at the fire department also and have even been able to be a part of training, said Michelle Shephard, David Shephard’s wife and nominator. “While it can be trying on our family, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

With all the hats David Shephard wears he finds his fire helmet a good fit. He said the work was hard, but enjoyed the sense of accomplishment. 

 

“When I save a life or put out a fire it relaxes me.” He said The situations can be stressful, but I really enjoy the way I feel when the adrenaline hits me. Whether I am running into the fire or helping someone after a traffic accident it just feels good. I am supposed to be there to help. I really don’t think of myself as a hero.”

The Newburgh Fire Department has gone on more than 300 runs this year. Nearly half of those runs were for medical/rescue assistance while about 25 were fires according to their website.

“He had his very first save, as he called it,” said Michelle Shepard. “The run was for an unresponsive person and they were able to revive him thru CPR. Of course, the stories he doesn’t share are the ones that he will forever remember as well. 

He has definitely impacted our children and many other people doing what he loves to do. He is a hero in my eyes and many others as well.”