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WCDS dad Michael Loving of Rixeyville is seen here (third from left) with fellow firefighters in Washington, D.C.

Driving like Mario Andretti, but in a 50,000 pound truck, through Washington, D.C. 's Ward 8, is all in a day's work for this dad. In this second of our four-part series, Wakefield Country Day School would like to give a big Red & White thank you to Michael Loving, Jr., of Rixeyville. 

Loving is a 25-year veteran of the fire department. Fifteen years with Engine Company 25 on MLK Jr. Avenue SE, in Congress Heights. Father to three WCDS students, ranging in ages from 3 to 7, he makes his way from the foothills of Virginia to D.C. multiple times a week, to spend 24-hour shifts as a Wagon Driver. 

Considered one of the most crucial functions that any firefighter is called on to perform, the fire-apparatus driver is critical, because without a competent driver, getting to the right place and in the best position is near impossible. 

As a child Michael was fascinated by fire. A strong athlete, he played sports and loved the camaraderie of being part of a team. As he got older, he developed a desire to help people and found his calling. 

“Engine Company 25 is considered an aggressive fire department; we do around 15 to 25 runs every 24-hours. Everything from stabbings, shootings, and heart attacks to house fires. I still get an adrenaline rush heading out the door,” says Michael. “And during this pandemic, there's an added level of stress. Where a lot of the world has closed down, here in Southeast Washington it's business as usual. 

“We also have a psychiatric facility and three homeless shelters in the area so there are additional challenges. We've made a few changes though; we wear PPE, masks around the firehouse, totally encapsulated suits. But I love it — there is a brotherhood working as a firefighter, especially at this department." 

Thank you, Mr. Loving, for your service to our country. Go Owls! For more information on Loving or WCDS, please visit us at wcdsva.org

 — The writer is director of admissions and development for WCDS.


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