Ricky Davis

Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company First Assistant Chief Ricky Davis, who also works for BGE, was recognized recently by BGE for his volunteer efforts and presented with a $10,000 grant for the fire company. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF / May 7, 2014)

For Rick R. Davis of Bel Air, life is a balancing act.

He balances his full-time job as an electric system operator for BGE, what he calls a "lifestyle" as first assistant chief with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, a wife, two teenage sons and the occasional bit of travel.

"The firehouse is more like a lifestyle, rather than a part-time job," Davis, 40, said Saturday. "You have to understand what your roles and responsibilities are here and fit your life around the firehouse."

It was Davis' dedication to serving Bel Air and its surrounding communities that earned the company a $10,000 grant from BGE, which was given on his behalf.

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He learned last Friday he was one of six BGE employees to earn grants for the organizations they volunteer for.

Each employee could get up to $20,000 each from BGE and Exelon, its parent company, according to a BGE news release issued last Friday.

Davis is one of 16 electric system operators who are responsible for running the "whole electric system" serving 1.3 million BGE customers.

He said the job is similar to being an air traffic controller. Davis works a rotating shift between a day shift, evening shift and night shift.

Davis said he will often report to his shift straight from a lengthy fire call, which he had to get out of bed to respond to.

"They really take care of me," he said of BGE. "They've always been understanding when it comes to the volunteer fire service."

Grant funds

The grant winners were announced during the utility's Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards Luncheon, which took place Friday in the Frederick Douglass Maritime Park Founders Room in Baltimore.

"I was really surprised because there are so many people at BGE and at Exelon that do so much for the community that I was shocked that they picked me," he said.

Davis said he later told members of the fire company's board to "just use the money where they deem it necessary."

Bel Air Fire Chief Edward Hopkins, who also attended the banquet, said last Friday that company leaders must get together and determine what project the money will go to.

"Clearly it will be a project that will support the fire service [and] ultimately, in the end, supports the citizens of Bel Air and the citizens of Harford County," Hopkins said.

Hopkins noted Davis has "dedicated his entire life to the fire service."

"That was pretty exciting, one, to see Rick get the award, and also to see BGE recognize employees who provide service to their community," Hopkins said.

Lifetime of service

Davis is a 25-year veteran of one of the busiest volunteer fire companies in Harford County, and he stays busy himself, answering an average of 700 calls per year; he hit 1,100 calls in 2013.