Farewell to a trusted friend

Published 10:11 am Thursday, July 7, 2016

To the Editor:

It was with sad heart that the Severn Volunteer Fire Department had to say farewell to one of our long time members, Chief David Kevin Britt. “Kevin” as he was known, died at his home after having earlier attended a long duration vehicle verses light pole accident scene. He leaves behind his wife Billie Jean, two sons Joshua who is also a member of the department and Dillon. He also leaves a brother “Keith” who is also a member of the department and a mom Carol Britt.

Kevin used to reminisce about the “older guys” and their training trips to Wilson Fire School. But I believe his favorite was about the weekend school held in Jackson; where the attendees were divided into smaller groups and burned a total of nine old structures during the weekend. He’d remind the “younger” guys about how “we” had to make entry without breathing air units like they get to use now.

He worked his way up through the ranks and was elected Assistant Chief and served in that capacity for several years while I was Chief. When I requested to step aside as Chief; due to my inability to attend about two thirds of the calls while working my “real” job, I nominated him and he was moved up to the position of Incident Chief. Most everyone knew that he despised using computers so I continued as Administrative Chief to handle the paperwork and he handled the fire or other incidents. It seems ironic that during his earlier years he had to miss the calls while working out of town but I could make most all of them. Then, it swung the other way, I could not make the incidents but he had changed jobs and was able to leave work to attend most of the runs.

Kevin shared the same love for the fire service that I have. We both wanted to improve the equipment and training of our members. Did we agree on everything, no; but we agreed to do what was needed to benefit the department. I’m just sorry that he did not see the completion of the service unit. Equipment to help get it to State standards hopefully in one to two years was started and some of the equipment will be coming in during the next few months. The second thing that I wish could have been finished was having a “dress uniform” for use at funerals. However when we have to decide on buying needed fire equipment or uniforms, the equipment for our members to be able to do their job more safely was always number one. Plus we still need to replace a 1968 pumper and a 1973 tanker.

It was awesome to see the turnout of members from the surrounding departments, counties and even from Virginia. I know he would be appreciative of everyone’s support of him. He would have wanted to do the same for any other member. On behalf of the Severn VFD, I would like to thank all the departments, agencies and members that worked together to make the service for Kevin what it was.

Dennis Woodard
Administrative Chief
Severn VFD