William Kennelly- Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department

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WAXHAW, NC – The Behind the Lines idea stemmed from a mother’s pride in her son. When William was hired as a part of the first class of career firefighters at Waxhaw Fire Department, I wanted to let everyone know how proud I was of his accomplishment.  The suggestion to feature the new staff was talked about and ideas batted around.  The result of great ideas and generous sponsors resulted in the past year of the Behind the Lines column.  Today I take great joy in presenting to all of you my Mother’s Day gift to myself.   

Ever since William Kennelly’s car seat was in the back of his dad’s fire chief’s car, he knew he wanted to be a firefighter. He grew up in the firehouse and it was always a part of his life. When William turned sixteen he immediately joined Waxhaw as a junior.  This was where his dad was a firefighter and member of the board of directors, so WVFD was his natural choice. 

After his dad passed away in 2018, William set his sights on making his dad proud and becoming part of the initial class of career firefighters at Waxhaw Fire Department. At the age of eighteen, as soon as he graduated from high school, William was promoted to volunteer firefighter while attending college classes.  When the pandemic hit, William felt the calling to take a break from school and work at the firehouse for as many hours as he needed.   In March of 2021, Waxhaw hired the first full-time firefighters and William was one of those chosen to pave the way.  

In his years of training, William has obtained his North Carolina Firefighter certification, Emergency Medical Technician, Technical Rescuer with ropes, and Technical Rescuer Vehicle Machinery Rescue. 

When not at the firehouse, William enjoys working on his cars, playing XBox with friends and cooking in his new home.  He may be learning to cook, but mom’s baked ziti is still his favorite meal.

As a new homeowner, William works as many hours as he can, but he also enjoys vacationing in the Caribbean, cruising with family is his favorite.

When asked if he were able to start his dream job tomorrow, William replied “This is my dream job. I have wanted to be a fireman since I was four years old.” the citizens of Waxhaw are lucky to have someone with such dedication to the town, even if I am a little partial. 

William’s Tip for the Community – Keep an updated list of any medications you take on a regular basis, in an accessible place.

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