Kelly Taggart, Captain
Westbrookville Fire Department
Years in service: 11
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. John Bunyan, the nonconformist preacher and author of “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” wrote those words more than 300 words ago, and to Kelly Taggart they are a mantra.
“Serving the community is what I know,” she says. “Helping others in their time of need and not expecting gratitude in return is ingrained in my upbringing.”
Serving the community is practically the family business, and Taggart can cite firefighters and EMTs going back generation after generation.
“I had always had dreams of being a firefighter during a time when women were not considered fit for it,” she says. So she served in ladies auxiliaries, became an EMT, and is now studying for her RN. It was 2012, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, that some Westbrookville firefighters suggested she join. She loves it as much as she always knew she would.
“I've been an EMT for 25 years, so being first on the scene isn't new for me,” Taggart says. “Thinking on my feet isn't new for me. Figuring out somebody else's emergency isn't new to me. It's now, as a firefighter, I have a new set of tools to use.”