You may not often get to see the men and women riding the firetrucks when they pass you on the roads going to an emergency, but you can see them in a special 2020 calendar.
The 2020 edition of the Delaware’s Finest Volunteer Fighters Calendar was revealed Thursday night during a party at Grain H20 at Summit North Marina, a chance to celebrate some of Delaware’s most important first responders in a different way.
Seven members of the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association posed for the calendar, which will be available for a $10 donation into next year at various locations, including the WDEL/WSTW/Faith 1510 studios in Brandywine Hundred.
Susanne Shively is showcased during two of the months, and she said her love of firefighting was sparked by her family.
“My dad started at 16, my brother at 16, and I always wanted to do everything my brother did. When I joined, we believe I was the first female in Delaware, definitely in my station. Initially the hardest part wasn’t the work, it was breaking that glass ceiling, but I knew more out of it at that point.”
Shively, who has been an officer during her career, said firefighting just becomes part of her DNA.
“I think a fireman is a fireman forever. We feel it every time we hear the siren, we may not go every time, but we feel it. Once it’s in your blood it’s in your blood. We pass it to our kids, we pass it to other generations, even if they don’t go for a long time, they still feel it. There is nothing stronger than a heart of a volunteer.”
Nicholas Turcol has been a volunteer at Brandywine Hundred for the past 10 years, not too far from Concord High School, where he once battled future NFL linebacker Paul Worrilow during practice.
“I enjoy going to the calls. I enjoy the people that I work with. I’ve made a lot of great friends, and I have a very strong support system, especially at Brandywine Hundred. I really enjoy going to different types of calls and different types of experiences."
When asked about the type of moments he’s proudest of, Turcol first mentioned getting his family involved, but also said the lifesaving component can be made very real.
“We’ve had a few CPR saves, and every year New Castle County does a CPR dinner. If you have someone who makes it after a cardiac arrest, they go to the dinner. That’s one of the biggest things: You realize going to that call you saved their life, and now they’re living and breathing. They’re able to go about their life because you responded out and did the best you could for them.”
Proceeds from the 2020 Delaware’s Finest Volunteer Firefighters Calendar goes directly to the DVFA, which helps to sponsor a scholarship for one of their members, and other programs.
It also gives you a monthly glimpse at some of those volunteers who take the call when emergencies strike.