Com­mu­nity mourns fallen fire­fighter

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE -

By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

— De­part­ments across the re­gion joined to­gether in sol­i­dar­ity as fam­ily, friends and col­leagues gath­ered Satur­day, Sept. 8, to grieve the pass­ing of Daniel Lis­ter, as­sis­tant chief of Queen Anne–Hills­boro Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany.

Lis­ter re­sponded to his

last call as he had count­less oth­ers be­fore. He came to the aid of trav­el­ers in­volved in a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent, and dur­ing the res­cue, he ex­pe­ri­enced a med­i­cal emer­gency him­self.

His life and ser­vice pay trib­ute to the many men and women who put their lives on the line to aid oth­ers, said Gov. Larry Ho­gan at the ser­vice held for Lis­ter at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege.

In the au­di­to­rium, a somber sea of blue and black — men and women in uni­form — viewed the cas­ket upon which Lis­ter’s turnout gear rested.

Daniel “Danny” Lee Lis­ter, 34, died in the line of duty on Satur­day, Sept. 1.

Born in Eas­ton, he was the son of Donna Jo Lis­ter of Cor­dova and the late Thomas Michael Lis­ter. A grad­u­ate from Eas­ton High School, class of 2003, and Mary­land Fire Res­cue In­sti­tute, Lis­ter had re­ceived var­i­ous fire and EMS cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Lis­ter held the po­si­tion of risk man­ager for Queen Anne’s County Depart­ment of Hu­man Re­sources and as­sis­tant chief for Queen Anne–Hills­boro Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany, where had been a mem­ber for 15 years, hold­ing ev­ery po­si­tion within the com­pany ex­cept pres­i­dent.

“There are no words I can give you to take away the hurt or ease the pain,” Ho­gan said to Lis­ter’s fam­ily and fel­low fire­fight­ers, “What I can tell you is you have the as­sur­ance of an eter­nally grate­ful state. He lived and died a hero.”

Many Mary­lan­ders are just learn­ing of the in­cred­i­ble mark Lis­ter left, the gover­nor said, but his fam­ily al­ready knows what a hero he was.

First re­spon­ders are at their best when oth­ers are most in need, Ho­gan said, ex­er­cis­ing kind­ness and com­pas­sion ev­ery day. Lis­ter ex­em­pli­fied those traits with an easy smile and a great sense of hu­mor, Ho­gan said. When oth­ers run away from fire and dan­ger, first re­spon­ders run to­ward it — and that’s why they are called heroes, Ho­gan said.

“His mem­ory will live on through the lives he touched and his legacy through other first re­spon­ders who con­tinue to serve,” Ho­gan said. “Let your lives and your ac­tions carry on the ser­vice that marked Danny Lis­ter’s life, and God bless all the men and women he bravely served be­side in the fire ser­vice.”

Lis­ter’s fiancee, Lau­ren Baker, and the mother of his son, Laura Fox, each spoke of his abil­ity to make oth­ers laugh and of­fer so­lu­tions to prob­lems. A master of many tal­ents, some hu­mor­ous and mis­chievous, he taught his son com­pas­sion and how im­por­tant it is to help oth­ers, they said.

“I am grate­ful that our lit­tle boy will al­ways have a home within our fire depart­ment,” Fox said, “grate­ful to you all, for your sup­port.”

Con­nect­ing oth­ers, lov­ing life and people, was Lis­ter’s way, said the Rev. Paul Merritt Sr., pas­tor of the Denton Church of the Nazarene. A last call on earth doesn’t mean it’s the end, he said, it is a first call in heaven — the most im­por­tant of all.

When those tones dropped on Sept. 1, Danny Lis­ter once again gave what he could not keep, to gain what he could not lose, Merritt said.

“You are a fam­ily,” Merritt said the to fire ser­vice mem­bers gath­ered, “but who res­cues you when your en­ergy is spent? When your arms are spent and eyes red­dened with soot? When de­spite your best ef­forts, some­one’s home is a to­tal loss?”

He re­minded them of scrip­ture from the book of Joshua: “I will not fail you or for­sake you be strong and coura­geous. Do not turn to the right or left so you shall have suc­cess wher­ever you go; For the lord your God is with you wher­ever you go.”

“Yes, more homes will be lost,” Merritt said. “There will be more ser­vices like this, but you will go and con­tinue to an­swer the call be­cause you have al­ready given that which you can­not keep. Courage isn’t hav­ing the strength to go on; it is go­ing on when you don’t have the strength.”

Dur­ing the honor cer­e­mony, “Massed Pipes & Drums” played as a flag was pre­sented to Lis­ter’s fam­ily, along with his hel­met and shield. A tra­di­tion for first re­spon­ders, there was si­lence as the tones alerted and over the ra­dio came the last call for Lis­ter.

As­sisted one last time by his fel­low fire­fight­ers, Lis­ter’s cas­ket was car­ried by Res­cue 84 for a pri­vate burial. The ser­vice was attended by many rep­re­sen­ta­tives of area fire de­part­ments, both lo­cal and from Anne Arun­del County. Mem­bers of the Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers and con­gres­sional Dis­tricts 36 and 37 also attended.

Memo­rial con­tri­bu­tions may be made in Lis­ter’s honor to Queen Anne–Hills­boro Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany, 13512 1st St., Queen Anne, MD 21657.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

Queen Anne-Hills­boro Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany’s Res­cue 84 bears the cas­ket of Daniel Lis­ter on Satur­day, Sept. 8.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

The honor guard car­ries the flags Satur­day, Sept. 8, at a memo­rial ser­vice for fire­fighter Daniel Lis­ter.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

This re­cent pic­ture of Queen Anne-Hills­boro Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany fire­fighter Danny Lis­ter, 34, with his dog, was posted in the foyer at the Todd Per­for­man­ing Arts Cen­ter, at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, Satur­day, Sep. 8, dur­ing his fu­neral ser­vice.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

In keep­ing with tra­di­tion, the bell or alarm, is sounded one last time for a fire­man’s fi­nal call Satur­day, Sept. 8, dur­ing the memo­rial ser­vice for fire­fighter Daniel Lis­ter.

DANIEL LEE LIS­TER

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