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.
He learned last Friday he was one of six BGE employees to earn grants for the organizations they volunteer for.
The younger Davis grew up hanging out in the firehouse; he said he would get up in the middle of the night with his father for a fire call and hang around the firehouse, or help out with "whatever I could" there, such as by washing fire trucks.
He would see his father drop everything to answer a fire call. Davis recalled that his father operated a lawn care business, and he would work with his dad.
"If we were in the middle of a lawn, we would stop mowing and run to the firehouse," Davis said.
His family is heavily involved in the fire service also; his wife, Kristine, is president of the company's Auxiliary Division, and his sons Steven, 14, and Kevin, 13, are junior firefighters.
Davis said he encourages his sons and other young people involved with the fire company to pursue a career first, however.
"Get a career, figure out where you want to be in your life," he explained. "The firehouse will always be there when you get back."
Exelon and BGE contributed $55,000 to the six organizations throughout the state. They included the Bel Air fire company, the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Christmas in April*Calvert County Inc., Calvert County's K9 Search and Rescue Unit, the Parkville Recreation Council and Under 21 Drop In Center of Baltimore County and Special Olympics Maryland.
"The BGE employees honored today truly embody the spirit of community service and they are a testament that our commitment extends well beyond keeping the lights on," Calvin G. Butler Jr., CEO of BGE, said in a statement. "I admire their passion and dedication and I applaud them for their commitment to giving back to our customers and the communities in which our employees live and work."
Davis and his fellow winners were named in a surprise announcement during the banquet.
"Davis has extensive training in the fields of fire suppression, emergency medical care, hazardous materials, rescue operations and command leadership," BGE officials stated.
Davis is one of four chiefs who report to Hopkins; Hopkins said they are responsible for company and facility operations, personnel matters, the annual budget process and planning and development of company projects.