The Capital of Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — David Badwak and Frank Dickey rode together for more than 20 years. Working side-by-side in a county ambulance unit, they helped save thousands of lives.

Around the firehouse they were called the Dynamic Duo, and probably a few other things.

“You go to work knowing every shift is going to be different,” Badwak said. “No two calls are alike.”

But now they have made their last run together.

Badwack retired after his shift on Halloween night, and Dickey will follow in the spring.

“Frank is going on April Fools’ Day. We couldn’t have planned it better,” said Badwak, 54.

He started with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department in 1977.  His partner, 60, was hired two years later.  Back in those days a firefighter had to work on a fire unit three years before applying to become a paramedic.

“Paramedics was an elite unit, you had to be chosen,” Badwak said.

Then the training consisted of three weeks at the community college. Now it is two years.

The two started working together in 1985. They were assigned the same shift at the South Glen Burnie firehouse, Station 26 – the busiest in the county, then and now.

They teamed up on ambulance runs there for 16 years. Then they transferred to Station 21, Harmans-Dorsey, and worked together another five years, before Dickey became a lieutenant and moved to the Harwood Lothian station.

They estimate they’ve run 20,000 calls. But ask them to pick highlights and they come up empty.

“I can’t come up with any one run,” Badwak said.

“They kind of all blend together,” Dickey said.

Then, a call rises to the surface.

“We had the train wreck in 1987 .” Dickey said.

“January 4, 1987,” Badwak said.

That one was near the Gunpowder River in Baltimore County. An Amtrak train en route from Washington D.C. to Boston derailed after plowing into a string of three Conrail locomotives at high speed, killing 16 and injuring scores of others.

“There was the plane at the airport.” Dickey said. They couldn’t remember the date. No massive injuries. Passengers slid down escape chutes after a hard landing. Badwak and Dickey triaged everyone in the BWI fire department building.

They forgot about the next one. But a young female fire department recruit came up to them one day a few years ago and asked if they remembered her.

They didn’t.  She told them they had picked her up when she was 14. She had been hit by a car while riding her bike on New Cut Road. She is now a lieutenant in the fire department.  Then there was the day they had three calls on the same day for kids falling out of windows.

But other than that, it is a blur. The “Dave and Frank Show” as some jokingly call it, has been running so long some area hospital nurses mix the men up.

“Hey, people call me Frank at the hospital,” Badwak said. “We’ve been interchangeable for so long.”

The pair worked together so well they really did become one, in a way.

“We complemented each other very well,” Dickey said, then chuckled. “That’s the biggest word I’ve used in 20 years.”

The pair has also handed down a wealth of information to generations of paramedics.  One of their commanders at the old Station 21 attested to that.

“Dave has had a lot of younger paramedics rotating through the unit with him. He is passing a lot of knowledge on,” Lt. George Wallace said.

Over the years the two helped train scores of recruits and rookies. Some are now chiefs in the department.

The duo has helped design models of ambulances put into service over the years. They were consulted by the department on equipment placement as new ambulances came online.

“They valued our opinion,” Badwak said.

“And we appreciated being asked,” Dickey said.

The department has appreciated them too. They have loads of commendations between them.  And they have respect in the house and on the road.

“A lot of people work a few years on a busy unit, then they might transfer to one that is not as busy and let the younger guys tackle it,” Wallace said. “Not them. They spent most of their careers in the busiest station in the county.”

On the road their teamwork in almost legendary.

“Their instincts were phenomenal. The action they took with patients, the decisions they made were always right,” Wallace said.

The two split up a few years back when Dickey was shifted to the Harwood/Lothian station. Badwak stayed at Harmans-Dorsey. But the department honored Badwak’s request and transferred him to that station for his last several shifts.

The Dynamic Duo rode again.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (40)
  1. moleman says:

    This is one reason why retirement & pensions needs to be reviewed & balanced. One guy is 54 the other 60. Must be nice to retire at that early an age & then jump into another job & double dip with Social Security +. The pensions & benefits (health) are unsustainable & frankly a real hardship on the average property owner who’s taxes have to pay for it all. The way the economy is today the average person will not be able to retire until after 70 if at all.

  2. Buffalo Soldier says:

    Moleman that life, get over it.

  3. Steve says:

    Early age of 54 and 60?! Really?! Not to mention that most firefighters and police officers have a shorter life expectancy than most folks in other occupations. AA County and Howard County are required to pay in 15-20% of their pay check to their pensions not to include any investing they did along the way on their own. The average person can’t retire until the age of 70? Where did you get this number? Did this account for the lack of planning on the individuals part?! So this is what it comes down to now…Two great men spend their lives helping others in a dangerous profession with a high risk of cancer and personal loss only to be chastised for being able to do so. Nice, real nice. Remember that next time you call for service because you or your loved ones need emergency medical treatment or your house is burning down.

  4. Steve says:

    P.s, Thank you Frank and Dave for tremendous careers in a thankless job, and congratulations on your much deserved retirement! Best of luck to both of you as you begin your new journeys!

  5. moleman says:

    Steve, Yours & my life is more in danger on the beltway commuting each day than those retirees. They sit around feeding themselves all day & watching / reading porn.The actual danger they are in from fighting fires is so minuscule it’s almost hilarious. When I call them for help, I paid for that service just as any of my clients do when they call on me for same. Double dippers is all they are. If it were so difficult, why retire at age 50? How many people do you know that can retire @ age 50? The wall st crowd & cost of living has whacked many a future retiree from retiring until they drop or have you been paying attention to the news of late.

  6. Steve says:

    Really?! And you know this because you’ve done the job before? Once again a know it all that’s done nothing. See, I’ve been on the job for 15 years and actually have first hand experience over the true dangers of the job and what the risks are. Since when does driving down the belt way expose you to 800-900 and higher degree heat? When would driving down the belt way expose you to hazardous materials that will take you skin off? The dangers are minuscule you say? I wasn’t aware that running the risk of having a house collapse on you while doing a search for people trapped didn’t present risk…If it did, I’m certain they forgot to tell the Fulkenhan family after they buried Scott from the burns that took his life while he tried to save a family. Or to Firefighter Morgan in D.C who was the sole survivor from his engine company that were burned alive in a house fire. Man, I’m so glad we have you hear to put it straight with all your years of experience and intestinal fortitude. Thanks! Actually, I’m familiar with a large percentage of folks that were able to retire at the age of 50 because they wanted to and made it happen, most were with private companies and most began to plan for their retirement when they started working. That’s what separates them from the folks you speak of. The wacko people in the OWS?! Really?! The small percentage of folks that have decided to peacefully assemble surrounded by criminals who want to just take what others have?

  7. moleman says:

    Steve, I didn’t say Firefighters never faced danger but look at the statistics before you get all hysterical. The number of firefighters lost in the line of duty in the last five years totals less than ten in Maryland. During that same period of time several thounds professional salesmen, truckers & other mobile people have lost their lives in traffic accidents. Now I know we all want to pin a medal on anybody who wears a uniform, I having served in one in a time of war know the true difference. You’re attempting to mix apples & oranges son & as for the OWS you are ignorant. A few greedy pricks in Wall st & Washington have hurt millions in this country. Jobs?? The real jobs have gone overseas.

  8. Steve says:

    “The actual danger they are in from fighting fires is so minuscule it’s almost hilarious” is what you wrote. Lost and injuries reported are two completely different numbers and recorded totally different. Now, the OWS, yes, the real jobs have gone over seas because the companies have been taxed to the point of bankruptcy, the government is to blame for that, not wall street. The criminal complaints coming out of the camps in the OWS areas are laughable. Reports of child sex crimes, drug use, STD’s now in NYC, half of the people involved don’t really know why they are there, they just showed up to join a movement.

  9. molehole says:

    mole, you didn’t wear a uniform, and if in fact I am wrong about that, you were a disgrace to it. What you mean by “time of war” is a freakin food fight in the cooks area. You sound like a disgruntled ahole. Its safe to assume you are fat, washed up, and that you’re smokin hot wife that married you for money left you for a real man…a fireman. You will never understand our profession so don’t try. You never had the pair that it took to do the job. Most of these men that do 20, didn’t get hired until their later years or were hurt. Get this mole, I was hired when i turned 19. I’ll be living the good life at 39 if i want. We understand as public servants, that we are loved when we are needed. Since you are so confident that we are worthless, i recommend that you send your name, address, license plate number, and work address to the local jurisdiction. this way we will know when to take our sweet little time.

    1. david says:

      moleman your a dumb azz ok your so wrong its not even funny 22 firefighters died in the line of duty last year where do you get less then 10 in the last 5 years your not a know it all you have no life your actually willie joe you know what your problem is you can get on here and dish it out but you cant take it every time somebody replys to your post you have to cuss at them and get all mad like a little b*tch your not a real man you have to post under 5 different names stupid pu**y think you a tough guy just because your behind a computer screen

  10. chris says:

    moleman when you posted under willie joe you said you were a sheriff sheriff willie joe now that your posting under moleman your saying your a fireman you aint no damn fireman stop living in your fanstay land

  11. john says:

    wow look at that i just looked it up 22 firefighters lost in line of duty last year in maryland shows moleman does not know what hes talking about and does not know everything like he thinks get a life loser

    1. moleman says:

      22 firefighters died my azz. Maybe a few from drunk driving. I shoulkd know. I never said I was a fireman Chris but that’s the trouble with crainal challenged people like yourself. They become firefighters cause they aren’t qualified for a real skill job & besides, They all like to eat & drink & the divorce.

  12. chris says:

    you don’t know what your talking about moleman i would just shut your mouth your the one who doesnt qualified for a real skill job i would shut your mouth before i get my freind who is a cop to trace your ip address and file a complaint its 22 you don’t know everything like you think and don’t tell me they can’t trace your ip address cause yes they can real skill yeah well if you went through the 6 month training course your fat ass wouldnt be able to take it

    1. moleman says:

      Chris, Go ahead & Ill have his badge & sue you for stalking & trying to impede my 1st amendemt to free speech. I know a few people at the Pikesville P.D. (state).

      1. chris says:

        moleman relax nobody is isn’t going to trace anything i don’t even know who scott is lol

  13. scott says:

    no problem bud i will trace his id address when i get to work tonight

    1. eddiefast says:

      Scott, It’s IP address, not Id. Come & get a lawsuit for stalking & bullying. I state the facts & the right to first amendment rights.

      1. sheriff moleman willie joe eddiefast says:

        moleman, you’re alias is showing

  14. david says:

    “”a fireman. You will never understand our profession so don’t try. You never had the pair that it took to do the job. Most of these men that do 20, didn’t get hired until their later years or were hurt. Get this mole, I was hired when i turned 19. I’ll be living the good life at 39 if i want. We understand as public servants, that we are loved when we are needed. Since you are so confident that we are worthless, i recommend that you send your name, address, license plate number, and work address to the local jurisdiction. this way we will know when to take our sweet little time.”””

    it looks like to me moleman said he was a fireman

    1. moleHOLE says:

      thats from “moleHOLE” bud, not moleman.

      1. david says:

        my mistake i looked at it wrong

  15. Moleman says:

    For all of you ladder jumpers & jerk off’s that like to fullfill your childhood fantasies, I have some startling news for you & your much malingned work loads. The following statistics are taken from the National fallen firefighters foundation & U.S.Fire adminstration’s figures on fatalities for the year 2011. There approx Two , yest 2 in the state of Maryland. Mark Falkenhan from Parkville Md & another in Baltimore whose name I forget. There were a total of 77 nationally lost. A small number considering there are over 300 million people in the U.S. So all you yahoos STFU.

  16. joe says:

    ” I having served in one in a time of war know the true difference ”
    i guess you were in the military moleman ?? or is that an other one of your fanstays ??

  17. chris says:

    moleman we said 2010 not 2011 dont go gettin on your high horse so you STFU and get a life

  18. joe says:

    mark Falkenhan wasnt from parkville he lived in middle river the fire he died in was in parkville

    1. eddiefast says:

      What’s the difference, He was a Marylander, doesn’t matter where he died, the fact is there were TWO not 22 that have died in 2011. There were not 22 in 2010. Do your homework you’re ignorant.

  19. joe says:

    hey eddiefast what a stupid name by the way shut your mouth it was 22 in 2010

  20. MrMiller says:

    i hope your home catches on fire and you have to watch your grandchildren reaching for you from the window as you stand helpless in the front yard. You are an absolute POS.

  21. joe says:

    and nobody said anything about 2011 if you and your daddy moleman aww eddiefast and moleman what a couple chould get off your fat a** and handle the work and actully do the phsycial job and dont open your mouths like you know abow it you guys think its so easy to do the job do it once and you’ll realize its not your fat lazy and out of shape stupid azz kids

  22. eddiefast says:

    25 firefighters died NATIONALLY in 2010. Not in Md u dummies.

  23. joe says:

    so eddiefast is either moleman son or hes moleman just posting under a different name like always but its like i said you and moleman would not be able to handle the work you guys think its so easy but if you guys ever try it you would see it is a very phsycial job and a very demanding job have a no life losers

    1. moleman says:

      Joe, Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah, You dumb azz…..Bet you live in Pasadena.

      1. FYI says:

        SHERIFF WILLIE JOE GM MOLEMAN EDDIEFAST is the same troll. He gets paid by WJZ to get your attention so you will check back often and “hit” the website. WJZ gets paid per hit and SWJGME (etc) get’s a cut. Ignore him or call him out and he either calls you names or goes away. He’s a weird little troll, but effective.

  24. joe says:

    Moleman for one you do not strike one bite of fear in me for two no i live in baltimore co for 3 i agree with alot you say moleman i really do what must people on here don’t get is your right your telling the truth the thing i don’t get is if your a MAN like you say you are when people reply to your post you resort to cussing or you bash them bullying them online like a little kid maybe your not a little kid maybe just a very inmature old lonley man an angry one for whatever reason you can dish it out but you can not take it if you were a man then whats the need to post under 6 different names i know you do because the name moleman eddiefast and the truth all had the same post word for word on a different article and you always resort to calling people zzhole or pricks but actually your the azzhole or prick your one deff a disgruntled azzhole so much hate in one head its sad grow up

  25. willie joe says:

    Joe, You feel better now that you got it all out Joe Joe? …I certainly do just knowing that you care about me. Makes me all warm & fuzzy & now I have to puke.

  26. moleman says:

    Are all of you big brave F.F. out there ready for another shellacking today?

  27. joe says:

    so moleman are you ready to be a loser for the rest of your life and i guess your posting under oscar to you pos

  28. MD DAD says:

    I would rather have public servants like firemen and policemen receive an early pension, than a thieving politician (after being indicted for stealing gift cards) get one.


    why has michelle obama been disbared from being a attorney? what did shedo or not do?

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