1. #1
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Default Vergennes Deputy Chief Passes Away

    A Vergennes man who taught thousands of people to be firefighters died last week after nearly five decades with the Vergennes Fire Department.

    Ray Davison, who retired as deputy chief in 2001 but remained active with the volunteer squad and around the state, died Christmas Eve following complications from open-heart bypass surgery at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, said Deputy Chief Jim Larrow. Davison was 74.

    Colleagues and friends remembered Davison as a gentle man, an excellent teacher and a firefighter devoted to his brothers in the service. Davison never married and had no children; he formed a close bond with his fellow firefighters, Larrow said.

    "The fire service was his family," Larrow said. "He always taught family, tradition, brotherhood and respect."

    Davison joined the Vergennes department in 1957 and became one of the department's first two captains in the early 1960s. He spent years as a training instructor, for which he was internationally known, and helped develop a 45-hour training course for new firefighters, Larrow said.

    Larrow was among Davison's students. Larrow was in high school in 1976 and determined to become a firefighter. He signed up for the new-firefighter course.

    "The way he explained things, it was easy to understand about fighting fires," Larrow said. "I wasn't too good in school, but when I got done in that class, he gave me so much confidence I felt like could go out and be a firefighter."

    Davison had been a mentor and friend ever since. Larrow last saw him Tuesday, when a delivery of a tray of Christmas goodies turned into an hourlong chat.

    "We talked about everything from saving the world to firefighting to plowing snow," Larrow said. "I was late getting back to work."

    Funeral services for Davison are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Vergennes Union High School. Larrow said the department is anticipating 1,800 firefighters from around the world will attend.
    I think many of us from the New England area knew Ray, I'm pretty sure some of the other Vermonters here on the boards did.

    There is a Memorial / Memorial Fund, I'll get the information shortly.

    From one of my emails
    Funeral services will be held on Thursday Dec 30 at 11 a.m. at the Vergennes Union High School in Vergennes with interment in the Prospect Cemetery. Friends may call at the Vergennes Union High School on Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m. In accordance with his wishes, those wishing to provide memorial gifts may be sent to the Ray E. Davison Fire Training Foundation of the Addison County Firefighters Association. % Mr. Howard Grant, RD #1. Vergennes, Vt. 05491.
    Last edited by 42VTExplorer; 12-28-2004 at 05:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Essex Junction, Vt.


    It's a sad day for the entire Vermont Fire service. Ray was probably the most widely known and RESPECTED member of the service in the state. I don't think there's anyone except the newest rookies who haven't had him as an instructor at least once.
    Not only was he a great teacher and chief, he was a great person, too. He truly loved his students, and all the other members of the fire service. Once you were in one of his classes, not only did you know and remember him, he knew and remembered you, too. The next time he saw you, not only did he recall you as someone who had been in a class of his, he probably greeted you called you by name.
    Everyone who knew Ray (and EVERYONE knew Ray) will miss him greatly. He is someone who will never be replaced.
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.

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