By ELLIOTT DAVIS — After more than 23 years with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD), including 13 years as the department’s third longest-serving fire chief, Dave Hang retired from his position on Sept. 3. According to the department, Hang spent his last shift celebrating with fellow HVFD members, alumni and friends.
“I was completely blown away on my last shift at the firehouse with all the meals prepared by the duty crew, all the visitors, phone calls, [text] messages and [Facebook] postings,” Hang said in an email. “The support I have received over the years have truly made this job memorable.”
The HVFD Board of Directors selected Mitchell Kannry as the interim fire chief. Kannry, a former deputy chief and 17-year veteran of the department, assumed the position upon Hang’s retirement, according to HVFD Vice President Dave Iannone. Thomas Falcone, HVFD president, said that a new chief will be elected by HVFD members at the end of the year.
Hang accomplished a lot during his tenure. He oversaw a full replacement of the HVFD’s fleet, the development of its Advanced Life Support program and growth of the department’s overall recruitment, according to the HVFD website.
Falcone, who served with Hang for over 20 years, said that he will miss his leadership and considers him “a lifelong friend.
“We served neck-and-neck, basically,” Falcone said. “I couldn’t ask for a better relationship as far as working together. He’s been exceptional in every aspect.
“He’s someone that anybody could go to. He would listen to anybody.”
Falcone added that Hang’s wife, Fan, also deserves recognition for her commitment, patience and sacrifice during Hang’s busy time as the HVFD fire chief.
Hang, who joined the department in 1994, succeeded Donald Moltrup as fire chief in 2005 after Moltrup’s 30-plus years in the position. With an ongoing career as a director of fire protection and life safety at Marriott International, and through his commitment to HVFD, Hang has made safety and service a big part of his life. When asked what he will miss most about being the fire chief, Hang focused on the mentorship of young members.
“Seeing our members excel inside and outside of the firehouse is what makes me smile,” said Hang. “This is what has motivated me over the years.”
Despite his retirement as fire chief, Hang will continue to serve the department in different ways, planning to help on the administrative side and concentrate on live-in college student recruitment, officer development and fundraising initiatives.
“I don’t think I could totally walk away from HVFD, as they have been an integral part of my life for the past 23 [years],” Hang said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at today in my personal and professional life without HVFD.”
Iannone and Falcone both echoed that Hang isn’t going far.
“He’s going to help out quite a bit, whether he knows it or not,” Falcone said with a laugh.