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With great sadness, the department announces the passing of Life Member William Albrittain.
William Miles Albrittain, Sr.
Born – July 8, 1928, Died October 12, 2020
Willie started his Fire Service in the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department in 1943 at age 15 during World War II. He was allowed to leave High School to run calls during the day when they heard the town’s alarm. He ran calls for La Plata for many years until he joined the Army in 1950.
He served in the Korean War and received a Bronze Star and other medals for his Military service. After his Army service, he worked at the Naval Powder Factory in Indian Head, Md. He worked three years as an Electrician, eight years in the Navy’s Fire Department, and then he worked twenty-one years in the Base Safety Department. In total, he dedicated thirty-two years of service to the Navy.
On Dec. 31, 1958, while working for the Navy base fire department he responded to an explosion on the powder line at the Navy base. When he arrived on the scene he entered the burning building and pulled a man from the rubble. For these acts of heroism, he received the Navy’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award. The award read “William M. Albrittain, a fireman for the Naval Propellant Plant at Indian Head, has been recommended for an award for bravery during the recent explosion at the plant. Mr. Albrittain, risking his own life, entered a burning building, and dragged an injured man to safety after he heard the man calling for help.” In 2007 he was inducted into the Navy’s Fire Departments Hall of Fame for the rescue he made back in 1958.
In 1964 he joined the Bel Alton Volunteer Fire Department after moving to the Faulkner area. He became more active in the department in later years after his youngest son joined the fire department and especially after he retired. He was actively helping around the firehouse fixing things. In 2001 he received the John E. Frere Award for Distinguished Service to the department. He is a life member and continued to have a passion for the fire department until his death.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been confirmed.
The department sends our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. Albrittain.