Helping others in their time of desperate need has been a tradition for the Withers family of Dallas for decades.
Earl Withers was a founding member and chief of the Dallas Volunteer Fire Department.
Earl Withers Jr., now chief of the Dallas Rescue Squad, has served with that agency for more than 45 years.
And Earl Withers III, 45, has been an EMT, a rescue squad staffer, and, for the past 21 years, a full-time member of the Gastonia Fire Department, where he now holds the rank of captain.
“It all goes back to my granddaddy,” said Withers, as we talked over steaming cups of black coffee on a quiet morning at Gastonia Station 4 on Armstrong Park Road. “He would help anybody and everybody. He didn’t talk about what he did, he just did it.”
Withers pauses a moment to reflect before continuing.
“I guess it’s just in my blood to help people,” he said, with no trace of hubris. “I would not have wanted to follow any other career path. This is what I was born to do.”