Retired Firefighter Named 'Hometown Hero'
Captain David Nance, who retired from the Sanford Fire Department after 25 years of service with the department, has been recognized by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association as a Hometown Hero.
Nance’s passion for burn prevention and helping burn survivors is what earned him this special award. The intent of the Hometown Heroes program is to “recognize and honor the unheralded local First Responders who are a vital part of the fabric that makes up our communities,” explains NCADA President Robert Glaser.
Among Nance’s many accomplishments and accolades is one that sits closest to his heart: the annual 3-Alarm Holiday Toy Drive, which provides new toys and gifts to children who are being treated at the NC Jaycee Burn Center at Chapel Hill.
Nance and fellow fire service member Frank Layton began the program more than 20 years ago and have run it every year since.
Along with providing toys and gifts, Nance puts together a team of volunteers to deliver the items to the burn center. While there, the group provides a special meal to the staff, patients, family members, and more.
Not content to limit his support to the holidays, Nance volunteers at Camp Celebrate, a special camp for burned children hosted by the NC Jaycee Burn Center. Nance serves on the planning board for Camp Celebrate and several aftercare programs. Burn center staff warmly refer to him as “the logistics master.”
“David Nance is incredibly deserving of this award,” says Mayor Chet Mann.
“If you know him, you know he goes above and beyond. He has a huge heart and Sanford has benefitted tremendously from his service,” says Mann, who attended the awards ceremony on December 12 along with City Manager Hal Hegwer, Fire Chief Wayne Barber, Deputy Fire Chief Ken Cotten,
and award sponsor Wil Wilkinson
of Wilkinson Cadillac Chevrolet Buick GMC.
“We are very proud of David for his 25 years of service to the Sanford Fire Department as well as his involvement with the North Carolina Burned Children Fund and the NC Jaycee Burn Center at Chapel Hill,” expresses Chief Barber. “David has worked tirelessly and is truly invested in making sure burn victims have the quality of life they deserve.”
No matter where or how he is helping, Nance is very quick to give others the credit for success. He believes in “we” rather than in “me.” A recipient of multiple awards, including the Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year award from the NC Association of Fire Chiefs and Award of Excellence from the NC Fire & Life Safety Council, Nance is strongly admired and respected for his contributions to the fire service.
The Hometown Heroes program honored more than 20 first responders from across the state. Click here for more information about the program.