Life on the Water for Will Bethea '88

Will Bethea '88, second from right, is pictured here with his mother, Paula, and sons Brendan and Zach.

Life on the Water for Will Bethea '88

Christ School graduate now a captain for Maryland fire department

Will Bethea '88 wanted a proper warmup for his 30th class reunion. So he swung by Christ School a year early. Bethea reconnected with many Greenies during last spring's Alumni Weekend. He has the same objective in mind for the next gathering which is May 4 and 5. Bethea can share a few stories. After graduation, he was active in the Coast Guard for eight years – two on active duty and six in the reserves – handling port security. From there, Bethea has gone on to become a captain in Maryland's Anne Arundel County Fire Department. He also puts his experience on the water to use in a part-time job. Bethea captains a boat for the Annapolis, Md., touring company Watermark.

Question: Tell me about where you live, and a little about your role in the fire department?

Answer: I live on Taylors Island in Maryland. It is kind of in the middle of nowhere. I have two sons, Brendan and Zach. Brendan is the younger son and is in the Coast Guard. Zack works full-time for Watermark. I'm Station Commander for the Avalon Shores Fire Station. There are 16 guys in my station. It can be crazy at times. In January, they will be moving me to a new station in Deale.

Question: Looking back, do you remember what made you pursue this type of career? And working two jobs must keep you awfully busy?

Answer: It was one of those childhood things, I guess. I always wanted to do the paramedic thing. And I did originally, but as you age and life changes, you start moving up through the system. I like to stay busy. I'm kind of at a point in my life where I'm going to do what I enjoy. (Boating) is one of my hobbies. Why not get paid for it?

Question: It is coming up on 30 years since you graduated from Christ School. Has that sunk in?

Answer: It seems like it was forever ago, and yet it seems like it was yesterday. I'm trying to convince as many guys as I can to come to our 30-year reunion. It would be great to see those guys again. The campus has changed so much. Back when I was there, the upper gym (Mebane Fieldhouse) was the newest building.

Question: What did you take away from your experience at Christ School?

Answer: That's probably hard to put into words. When you are there, you don't realize what it does for you until later. It helps you mature more than you think it does. It teaches you more than you think it does.

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