Brandyn Sousa: Fort Deposit Fire Fighter
Published 10:31 am Thursday, October 5, 2023
Brandyn Sousa has been a volunteer firefighter for over 13 years, 11 of which were in California. He moved to Fort Deposit nearly two years ago and has served as a firefighter with the Fort Deposit Fire Department since then.
Sousa watched his brother go through the fire academy and decided to follow in his footsteps, delving into the world of firefighting upon his graduation from high school where he says he found his passion for helping others.
“I decided to become a firefighter because it looked fun, but I really fell in love with it,” Sousa said. “I love helping the community and not even just locally. When I go on vacation I take my medical bag with me just in case I run across someone who needs help. I just love helping people.”
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Michele Sousa, Brandyn’s mother, who also works closely with the Fort Deposit Fire Department and with Toys for Tots, said that Brandyn’s passion extends beyond the flames.
“He [Brandon] went through a firefighting class in high school and he really found a love for it,” Michele said. “When we moved to Alabama he saw that there was a need and he dove right in. His passion is helping children and families and he takes his med-bag everywhere. If he can help he will. Whether it be cutting down a tree, helping the elderly, or volunteering with trunk or treat or community events or Toys for Tots.”
According to Brandyn, one of the most difficult positions a firefighter can be put in is one where they have to respond to a call to help someone he or she is close with. He unfortunately experienced this firsthand when he was called to respond to a car accident where he found his childhood best friend fatally injured and tragically passed away at the wheel.
Brandyn said in California he encountered fires on a more frequent basis and on a larger scale than what is typically seen in Alabama. The experiences he had there have aided him tremendously in helping to further train the firefighters he works alongside in Lowndes County.
“I’ve been helping to train the volunteer firefighters in this area to better respond to house fires and medical emergencies,” Brandyn said. “We’ve been doing quite a bit of training and everyone has been getting better and better.”
Brandyn encourages individuals who may be interested in becoming a firefighter with the Fort Deposit Fire Department to reach out to the department’s Facebook page to begin the onboarding process.