Wayne D. Brown
Bristol Fire & Rescue Department – Rhode Island
Date of Death: November 3‚ 2008
Wayne was born on September 2‚ 1945‚ in Central Falls‚ Rhode Island. As a kid growing up in the 1960s‚ while his friends were rocking to the tunes of Elvis and the Beatles‚ he developed a lifelong passion for classical music and history. Wayne graduated from Rhode Island College in 1972 with a degree in history with a special interest in World War II.
In 1967‚ desiring to serve his country‚ he enlisted in the United States Navy. Not knowing in what direction he wanted to go‚ he listed five areas of interest on his Navy application. The last one he listed was medical corpsman‚ thinking this would never happen as most volunteers were granted their first or second choice. Little did he realize‚ this choice would affect the rest of his life. From 1967-1970 he served as a medic‚ caring for wounded Vietnam soldiers and doing other special missions for the Navy.
Upon leaving the Navy and graduating from college‚ he moved to Bristol‚ Rhode Island‚ and joined the Bristol Volunteer Fire Department in 1976. He was a member of the Hydraulion Engine and Hose No.1‚ rising to the rank of captain of the Bristol Rescue Squad. In the latter part of his 32-year career‚ he served as a member of the Bristol Fire Police.
Wayne was a member and past president of the Bristol‚ Rhode Island‚ Cup Defenders Association and a 31-year member of St. Alban’s Lodge #6‚ Order of the Masons. Wayne was also a tax assessor for Bristol‚ Warren‚ and‚ at the time of his passing‚ for the City of Central Falls‚ Rhode Island.
No matter what Wayne was doing‚ his true calling in life was to be a firefighter. It was his passion. Although a quiet person by nature‚ he loved helping people wherever and however he could. His family and friends never saw him without his radio by his side‚ waiting to run out the door at the first call of a fire.
Wayne’s final call came on November 3‚ 2008‚ at 3:00 a.m. As he rushed out the door and was on his way to a fire‚ he experienced chest pain and radioed the rescue department that was also on the way to the fire. The department diverted a rescue wagon to his location‚ but by the time they arrived he had passed away. His final ride was in the rescue wagon with the people he had so proudly worked with and served with for 32 years of his life.