Lance Whitson, a firefighter with Frederick Fire Department, was promoted to captain on April 1.
Whitson’s new responsibilities include inspections and pre-fire plans. He holds an inspector one certification which qualifies him for the captain’s duties.
Whitson has been a firefighter for nearly 13 years and he has spent those years with Frederick Fire Department. He started as a volunteer firefighter in 2003 and completed his training in 2004 when he was hired full time. Whitson attended Oklahoma State University fire training which consisted of classroom training as well as live fire training.
“We never really stop training,” Whitson said. “We train throughout our careers. In fact, I’ve got an 80-hour arson class I’m taking at OSU in August.”
Whitson is in the family business. He is a third generation Frederick firefighter. His grandfather, Jim Whitson, spent 20 years with Frederick Fire Department and his great-uncle, Doug Dunlap, also spent 20 years with the department. His uncle, Douglas (Brandy) Whitson, spent seven years with the department until he took a medical retirement in 2004.
Whitson said that he loves his job. Not just the thrill of excitement battling a blaze, but the brotherhood he feels with his co-workers.
“Every third day, I get to have a sleepover with my brothers,” Whitson said. “We all trust and respect each other. We’re family. We have to in our line of work. But it’s not all serious. We joke around and play pranks on each other too.”
The firefighters will be hosting a fire prevention program at the Frederick Public Schools in October.
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext 2602