BELLAMY, Ala. (WTOK) - We meet the fire chief in Bellamy, Alabama. Bellamy is a small town just off Highway 80. Chief Elmer Stallings Jr. says helping people is his life.
"Anything I can do to help people, I will do it," Stallings says.
Chief Elmer Stallings Jr. has been a firefighter for 31 years.
Stallings is a native of Bellamy. His passion for helping others runs deep. Stallings lost his brother many years ago.
"He died from drowning on dry land. Nobody knew what to do. By the time I got there, they were doing CPR, but no one knew what they were doing," Stallings says.
Stallings says if his brother had had a first responder, it might've made all the difference. It's a personal story has that has driven Stallings for so many years.
"I do it from my heart and for the love of people," Stallings says.
Stallings says his family supports him now, but at first they didn't quite understand why he wanted to put his life at risk for free.
"They tend to understand now. Over the years, they have talked with me, but not to discourage me. I'm going to keep on doing what I do as long as I'm helping someone," Stallings explains.
When it comes to volunteers at Bellamy Fire Department, Stallings says many of its members started off very young and are still with them today.
"I appreciate what they do. Some of them might not think the people don't appreciate it, but I know deep down in their heart they appreciate it," Stallings says.
In Stallings says he's very proactive in trying to prevent fires. He says every winter he goes around checking heaters making sure everyone is being safe. He says right now he's working on getting fire extinguishers in every household.
Stallings says he will continue helping others as long as he is able to do so.
"When through a medical thing a few years ago and thought I wouldn't continue. By the grace of God I'm still here,” Stallings says.
To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.