Hometown Heroes: Firefighter Lieutenant David Truelove

Renewing our focus on Hometown Heroes is an exceedingly important project for us here at Lazenby Law Group.

While contemporary society’s view of what it means to be a hero seems have been expanded beyond the realm of reason, one calling most assuredly meets just about everyone’s definition of hero: Firefighter. This edition of Lazenby Law Group’s Hometown Hero hopes to capture our sincere broad appreciation for our Firefighters with specific appreciation for our honoree: Lieutenant David Truelove.

Firefighter David Truelove

We sat down with David for a detailed discussion to learn more about him and his family. In no way were we disappointed in our selection. David personifies our definition of hero, he is a selfless gentleman who became a public servant for all the right reasons. Most importantly to us, as a husband, father, and first responder, David is just a good, good man.

David is about as hometown as a Hometown Hero can get. David hails from North Hall very close to where he grew up in Clermont, Georgia. David graduated from North Hall High School in 1998 and later became a certified EMT through Lanier Technical College. David married Julie (Townley – also a North Hall County native) in 2005 and he and his family, to include thirteen year old son Levi and ten year old daughter Lilly Reece, continue to attend Skitts Mountain Baptist Church. Perhaps most heart-warming is The Trueloves’ time-honored tradition of continuing to eat Sunday dinner at Julie’s family’s home every other Sunday. David is now one of two command position leaders at North Hall’s very own Station 16 at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Shirley Roads. North Hall is blessed to be protected by one of its own.

For those who know David, it’s no surprise David grew up on a North Hall dairy farm. Also not surprising, when we asked David to tell us more about his life and upbringing, the label “old soul” became quite fitting. What’s David’s fondest memories? Family reunions. David speaks sadly about what many see as a dying tradition of families conducting reunions as “kids just can’t get to know their cousins” anymore.

What does David do for fun now?

David responded with absolutely no hesitation: “watching my kids play.”

Where’s your favorite place to eat in Gainesville and Hall County?

“Julie’s family’s house.”

What would be David’s dream vacation?

He’d go see some big farms out west or see an Amish working farm.

Who’d you grow up admiring most?

“Al and Joyce Cain because they showed me what a model marriage should look like.”

What are David’s long-term plans?

He hopes to buy a bigger farm to enjoy his farming work.

David’s “side hustles” surround the weed treatment of hay farms and helping to manage the farms of his North Hall neighbors. We asked David to identify his hero and to tell us with whom he’d choose to eat a meal if anybody in history could be chosen. To the former, David said “Jesus;” to the latter, David said he’d love to again see his “Grandads,” and “talk about how things used to be.” Finally, when we asked David where he’d like to see Gainesville and Hall County in the next 5-10 years, yet again, David gave no pause before summarizing his vision for our community with two words: “slowing down.”

Firefighters: their heroics are far more expansive than their heritage.

David became a Fire Fighter and First Responder twenty-one years ago. He was just two days into his Fire Fighting recruit school and vividly recalls September 11, 2001. Channeling the recesses of his memory, David recalled his training Lieutenant simply stating, “Fire service will never be the same.” The words were prophetic and David’s vast experiences certainly illustrate just how true those words were.

One of the ways in which the Firefighters duties and responsibilities have expanded exponentially since 9/11 might be summarized in the matter in the professional title given to David by his Mom: paramedic. No longer do Firefighters simply “fight fires,” modern FIrefighters are often the first responders on the scene where they may control traffic, secure evidence, rescue the entrapped, provide medical care, comfort the hysterical, fend off aggressors, and might even extinguish a fire. When we asked David to clear up the most common misconception by the public he’s seen, the response was in no way surprising. In light of David’s explanation of he and his fellow Firefighters’ duties, “we don’t have much downtime at the station.”

When we asked David about his most significant memory of his first responder service, he recalls it with great sadness.

In 2002, David received a directive to respond to a 911 call of a multiple vehicle collision. It was one of his first calls and remains burned in his memory. The wreck involved five children between the ages of 3 and 18 on Highway 129. The ages of the most vulnerable victims was difficult for a young firefighter to encounter. David invoked his training and did his level best, but with devastating injuries, the outcome was predetermined and horrific. David’s memory speaks volumes about the reality of first responder heroism and solidified the accuracy of our Hometown Hero selection.

During our interview, David responded with the same answer to two of our questions: “What’s the most difficult aspect of your job?” and “What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?” David responded with, “Serving my friends and family.” When asked “Why?,” David recounts his first encounter with a cardiac arrest; the patient was his own Grandmother. As expected, David relied on his training as his presence gave his family a sense of calm, and while his Grandmother sadly did not survive, he recalls how comforting it was to know that everything that could be done, was done to save her.

Given the vast exposure Firefighters have of our communities in their most vulnerable moments, we ask David to share some wisdom from his decades of service.

Seeing the ramifications of evolving technology on the health of our loved ones, David return to the topic of protecting innocents. David advises: “closely monitor your kids’ social media.” Unfortunately, David has seen instances of mental health issues giving rise to emergency situations continuing to plague the labor shifts of first responders. David specifically noted how these exceptionally concerning and burdensome issues have directly corresponded with the rise of social media platforms. Given the vast exposure of David to the emergencies of our community, we’ll certainly heed his advice.

Even a cursory review of David’s Firefighting career shows how special to our community he is. Moreover, those who’ve had the pleasure of seeing David interacting with his friends and family would quickly echo our selection of him as an LLG Hometown Hero. David and Julie are amazing parents with phenomenal kids. We are blessed to have David protecting our very lives with his service, and his response to the question of “How [his] Momma or Grandmomma would describe [him] in just three words? His response speaks volumes to the love of his family and the man he’s become: “Sweet, Handsome, and Smart.

Please say a special prayer for all our Firefighters and First Responders including Lazenby Law Group’s Hometown Hero: Lieutenant David Truelove!!!

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