Dan Dowds ’72

From football player to firefighter to educator

Dan Dowds ’72

On call.  Those two words capture the essence of the career of Dan Dowds ’72 as a firefighter and later a teacher.

While at SHS Dan played football and was a member of the Hungry Hounds defense.  Later he played football at Tennessee Tech and then went on to serve in the Army in Germany with the 1st Infantry Division.

Afterward Dan found his calling, serving for 23 years as a firefighter in Mansfield and a paramedic in Shelby.  He was respected widely by firefighters, paramedics and ER physicians for his detailed and accurate prepping of injury victims.  He once carried his firefighter captain out of an intense fire.

After retiring he helped develop the paramedic program at the EHOVE (Erie Huron Ottawa Vocational Education) Adult Career Center in Milan that was launched in 1999.  Dan served there as a paramedic educator and curriculum leader. Dan Dowds Memorial Scholarship events for the EHOVE center are held each summer.

Observes a fellow alum, “Dan was a leader and the best at his trade, and he loved teaching that trade with great passion.”  Seven of his students have gone on to become fire chiefs. Dan died in 2016. He had three sons – Shawn ’95, Travis ’98, Nathan ’01 – and a sister, Julie ’73.

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