Fighting more than fires

BANGOR, Ala. (WIAT)- If you blink, you’ll miss it. With around 500 homes in unincorporated Blount County, Bangor has all the makings of a small-town; except, for the fire department. The Bangor Volunteers Fire Department is made up of 8-10 firefighters, including 6’7″ William Witcher. As the newest member of the force, he endures his fair share of good-natured barbs. “Well, he certainly gets things off the top of the truck for us,” said Fire Chief Adrean Booth with a laugh. ”His height lends itself to a lot of things. He can see things we can’t see.”

Fires and jokes are nothing Witcher can’t handle. He’s already battled one of the fiercest and deadliest enemies around: brain cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease when he was 18 years old. ”At first, I didn’t think I would make it this far,” he said. ”Because, when you hear cancer, you think of people dying; and that’s the first thing that come to my mind, ‘Hey I’ve got cancer, I’m about to die.” One year later, after countless chemo treatments, he’s beating the odds. “Certainly, due to health problems we’ve had some reservations about what we can let him do and not let him do,” said Chief Booth. ”But, he just had that desire in his heart and that ‘want to.’”

Due to his medical bills, Witcher has had to put some of his long-term goals on hold. He plans to enroll in Bevill State’s EMT program in the near future. He attributes his passion to a higher power. “I feel like, God saved my life and he’s kind of telling me, ‘Hey, I need your help to save other lives.’”

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