SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Brad White, Naval Criminal Investigative Service representative for U.S. Transportation Command’s Intelligence directorate does not spend his days in an action-packed environment, like his NCIS television counterparts.
But he makes up for it when he leaves his day job and goes on duty with the O’Fallon Fire Department, where he was recently presented the Firefighter of the Year award, for the second time in four years.
According to O’Fallon Fire Chief Brent Saunders, White, 40, responded to 589, or nearly 70 percent of the department’s 846 fire calls last year, but that was not the only reason for his award.
“Brad White was chosen for the Sunrise Rotary Firefighter of the Year for a lot of reasons,” Saunders said. “Brad is in the top 10 percent of our responders. He’s in charge of the entire fire department’s clothing program which consists of all personal firefighting gear, uniforms, coats, gloves etc.
“Brad attended Fire Officer I and Fire Officer II training over the last year,” Saunders continued. “In addition, he attended three weeks of fire investigation classes, gaining the state certification for fire investigation. He just finished fire safety officer training as well.”
In addition to all his fire education, training and a full time day job, White serves as the station captain for Engine House #3 in Shiloh (The O’Fallon Fire District also covers Shiloh, Ill).
“At this point, he is not an officer with the department,” Saunders said, “but he fills the position very well. His leadership qualities are outstanding.”
White came to USTRANSCOM in 2004 after 14 years as a counter intelligence collector in the Marine Corps.
“I was a Marine prior to getting into civil service,” White said. “So I’ve always kind of been on the go, go, go, and I got here, to an office job and I needed a little bit more of an adrenalin rush.
“My wife didn’t want me to do reserve police work,” White continued, “and I’d much rather run into a burning house than get shot at, so I decided to go with the fire department.”
White says his wife, Angie, and their children Dylan, 19, Ashlynn, 16, and Sierra, 12, support his fire service work.
“The kids really enjoy it,” White said. “They all put up with my getting called out while at a restaurant. It gets a little old for my wife sometimes, though.”
White says his co-workers at USTRANSCOM are also supportive.
“Many have participated in the various community service events the department hosts,” White said. “All (my co-workers) are understanding and supportive on the days I come to work dragging after having a night of little or no sleep because of numerous overnight fire calls, or having worked a single, long-duration house fire.”
White likes to remind everyone that the O’Fallon Fire Department is staffed by volunteers.
“A large number of the community assumes that it’s a full-time department just because of the sheer volume of calls and the area that we cover,” White said. “But it is a volunteer (department) and we’re always looking for folks in O’Fallon and Shiloh to join us.”
- USTRANSCOM -