At 79 years old, David Carver has been volunteering for disaster relief missions for 33 years. When asked why he does what he does, his answer was quite simple – “the Lord gave me the opportunity.”
Carver explained that he volunteers to help those in need because of his faith. According to one of his preferred verses in the Bible, what good is it if someone says they have faith, but don’t demonstrate good works to prove it?
Working as part of the Southern Baptist Convention, Carver routinely volunteers for disaster relief missions that send him to all different parts of the country. From preparing and serving meals to community clean-up and providing hot-showers – Carver has helped the Southern Baptist Convention care for others in all sorts of ways.
So, when Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction across the state of Florida, Carver was ready to go when the request for volunteers came through.
“They said they needed one more person to volunteer to come down to Florida to handle the administrative work, so I said, ‘OK, I’ll go,” said Carver.
When he isn’t volunteering for disaster relief missions, Carver spends his free time working in fire and EMS in his home state of North Carolina – something that seems to run in the Carver family.
Carver’s son Nate has also had an extensive career as a first responder, working for both the fire department and American Medical Response.
So, when Carver deployed to Florida, it was no surprise to the rest of the Carver family that Nate was going too. However, Nate’s mission in Florida would be slightly different from his father’s.
Nate is now a risk and safety associate analyst with Global Medical Response, and during his deployment to Florida, he was responsible for ensuring the safety of over 300 deployed first responders and a nearly-14,000 square foot forward operating base located in Fort Myers.
Nate attributes his chosen career pathway to watching his father be of service to others throughout his childhood.
“I think growing up watching my dad go out on fire calls is what led me to do this,” said Nate. “At first, it was the excitement of the lights and sirens and getting out to do cool stuff, but the older I got, the more I realized what I was doing it for and who I was helping.”
Hurricane Ian was the first time the father and son have ever crossed paths during a disaster deployment – despite having volunteered for dozens of missions throughout their careers.
“This was the first time we have been deployed close enough to see each other,” said Nate. “It’s always been something different – either we are in the same state but in different locations, or he is leaving as I am arriving.”
One may call it divine intervention or just good luck that the pair ended up in the same place at the same time. No matter how you think of it, Fort Myers, Florida, was left a little better thanks to the dedication and commitment to service of David and Nate Carver.