DFD captain called to Kuwait

Published 11:50 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

Capt. Karl Hale of the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department put in one last day at the department on Friday before bidding friends and co-workers goodbye. After a month to be with his family and to prepare, he will be serving duty in Kuwait, his second tour of duty in the current Iraq war.

A member of DFRD for more than seven years, Hale developed the emergency medical service in the department.

“He has been a tremendous asset in the EMS,” DFRD chief Ronnie Few said. “He has worked through all the details. He trained everyone until he couldn’t train them any more, and as a result of that, we were on line months ahead of time because of Karl’s work habits. Even up to the day that he’s leaving, he has worked every day until the last minute. I really appreciate his service here.”

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“During my absence, Capt. Jeb Bailey is going to be toting an enormous responsibility by carrying what I have been doing,” Hale said. “What his normal workload is, now all of his vacation days are chewed up, because he’s not going to be able to take that time away and take these breathers without getting totally inundated with work.”

Hale, a captain in the U.S. Army, will be deployed in early April with the Gadsden-based 151st Chemical Battalion in Kuwait.

“I will be doing the logistics and S-4 (logistics officer) work for a base there,” Hale said. “That includes supplies, maintenance, all of the services from food services to weapons to housing the troops who come through that area — that’s about six to 12 thousand people on the military base.”

A 22-year veteran of the Army National Guard, Hale has been an officer for the last 12 years. This will be his second tour of duty to the Middle East, as he served with a Thomasville unit under the 1166th Military Police Company from Greensboro in Baghdad in 2003-04.

He earned a Purple Heart for his service in his first tour, having been injured when a device exploded near his truck, injuring several soldiers but none fatally.

A native of Linden, Karl Hale has shown his service to the community through his hard work and dedication with the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department. That dedication to service has now gone to a new level, as he prepares for his second tour of duty in the Middle East.