Fire Lieutenants Deployed to Bosnia to Help with Firefighting Efforts
Volunteer Lieutenant William Hawkins, from the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department and career Lieutenant Richard Rahilly (assigned to Hillside – Company 6) left the United States for a three (3) week tour of duty in war torn Bosnia. The purpose of the mission was to follow-up and ensure that donated fire apparatus and equipment to support firefighters in Bosnia was reaching its destination. This apparatus and equipment was needed to maintain some level of firefighting effort in Bosnia. Both Lieutenants Hawkins and Rahilly were approved for this dangerous mission because they were single. Travelling with an interpreter, they worked alongside the Bosnian firefighters, dodging sniper fire and artillery shells. The Bosnian fire chief came to the United States to plead for help from the United Nations. He was assassinated a few short weeks after returning home.