Lake Mary Fire Lieutenant Bruce Williams reflects on a 46-year career.
When Bruce Williams became a volunteer firefighter in 1973, he had no intention of turning that role into a career, much less a personal passion. Today, 46 years later, he is now known as one of Florida’s longest serving combat firefighters and an accomplished philanthropist.
“I graduated from high school and became a volunteer firefighter for Altamonte Springs,” Bruce recalls as he prepares for his retirement this month. “Five months later, the chief asked me if I wanted a full-time position. I immediately said no, but he wouldn’t take that answer and asked me to give the job one week before making a final decision. The rest, as they say, is history.”
When Bruce reflects on nearly a half-century of service, he gets emotional thinking about the people he has met, the lives he and his colleagues have saved, and the achievements he has earned along the way. But nothing makes Bruce smile brighter than when he talks about his beloved family and his extensive charity work.
“His tough exterior is no match for his big heart,” says Kathy, Bruce’s wife. “Bruce will do almost anything to help kids in need.”
A Central Florida native and a graduate of Lyman High School and Seminole State College, Bruce has a passion for helping others that extends well beyond the halls of the fire house. He has coordinated and played in charity football games and participated in celebrity golf and softball tournaments to help raise thousands of dollars for sick and missing children. Bruce also developed Lake Mary’s Firefighter of the Day program, which offers terminally-ill children the opportunity to serve as an honorary firefighter.
“I have been very blessed to have lived such a wonderful life and enjoyed an amazing career,” Bruce says.
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