SHELBY -- Daniel Grant Dowds was a Shelby High School graduate of 1972. He joined the Army and spent time in Germany. After his duty in the Army, he worked construction until he was able to attend Firefighter School.
“Big Dan” was well known in his community as a firefighter, paramedic, and paramedic instructor. He proudly served the Mansfield Fire Department for over 23 years as a firefighter and paramedic. He was instrumental in developing the Paramedic program at EHOVE Adult Career Center in Milan, Ohio.
He worked with Chris Hafley, Public Safety Department Coordinator and two others from EHOVE to fine tune the program in 1998. By 1999 the program was active and through the years trained 7 former firefighters who later became a Fire Chief in their communities.
Dowds spent many summers at Bay Point on Lake Erie during the time his children were growing up. While in that area, he fought fire and ran EMS for the Marblehead Fire Department. He was known for his passion for firefighting and emergency medical services and the the compassion he showed to the countless people whose lives he touched during times of distress.
He loved to teach and was inspirational to many young firefighters and paramedics who now carry on his work. He had many euphemisms during his instructor perioed. His students referred to them as “Dowdisms.”
A celebration of Dan's life was held in March, 2016 in Shelby, prior to a cross-country trip to the west coast with his sons and grandson. Once in Portland, Dan spent his remaining time with his family. Dan passed away from cancer shortly after arriving in Portland.
Local #3057 Steel Workers Union (Arcelor Mittal) also known as the Tuby held a benefit motorcycle fun ride visiting various fire stations in the area followed by several raffle drawings at the union hall. A total of $2,000 was received to start a Dan Dowds Memorial Scholarship for paramedics at the EHOVE Adult Career Center. A fish fry will be held in coordination with the local union and Dowds children (Shawn, Travis and Nathaniel Dowds) Sept. 14 at the K of C hall to help build the scholarship.
Norm Shoemaker, President of the local union was at the union hall with Rich Bannichar coordinating the scholarship fundraiser. This is only one fundraiser that Local #3057 is involved this year.
Previously this year the union had a fundraiser for Shelby Food Bank and is currently in the process of developing a fundraiser for Sadie Kreinbrink which will be held at the K of C hall on Aug. 17. A spaghetti dinner with salad, breadsticks, and dessert will be served along with Ben Dunn's live band, a benefit motorcycle fun ride, several drawings and a corn hole tournament. Sadie is the daughter of Jake and Kaleigh (Will) Kreinbrink. Sadie is a beautiful 2-year-old battling cancer.
According to Shoemaker, Local #3057 distributes funds to the Domestic Violence Center, and numerous charities, it is among the top five organizations in Richland County that give to area charities.