First Responder of the Week: Richardson serves as bailiff and volunteer firefighter

Published 11:32 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lorenzo James Richardson has been working for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years, but has been serving as a volunteer fireman at the Orrville Volunteer Fire Department since 1992.

Richardson, who is the assistant chief at the fire department, said it was important to him to join and give back to the community that he grew up in.

“I love it. I live for it,” Richardson said of volunteering with the fire department. “[It’s good] just helping people out in the community.”

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Richardson said he wanted to give back by working in both capacities so he would be a good role model for the younger generations.

“I want to be a positive role model because people look up to me, and so I didn’t want to lead no one down the wrong path,” Richardson said. “It’s wonderful [to give back].”

Richardson is a bailiff at the Dallas County Courthouse, and said being an officer has been a dream of his.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I thought it was something cool to be an officer,” Richardson said. “There was just something in my blood. I just want to help people.”

Captain Mike Granthum said Richardson has always been an asset to the department, even before he was full-time.

“He is so dedicated to the sheriff’s office,” Granthum said. “You can depend on him. He’s a good employee. He just lightens up the room when he walks in.”

Granthum said around 17 or 18 years ago, before Richardson was full-time, he would still dress out and help even if it was in the middle of the night.

“Night shift back then, we didn’t have as many officers at night as we do now, and we’d be by ourselves. So, if we got a call and it was in Orrville, he would be dressed, waiting at his mailbox for us,” Granthum said. “We would pick him up and take him to a call with us so we wouldn’t be by ourselves at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.”

Richardson didn’t mind if it was in the middle of the night, he just knew he wanted to help when he could.

“He would get out of bed and meet us for any call in Orrville, any time of the day,” Granthum said. “We knew he would be there, you didn’t even have to call him. That’s how dedicated he was.”

As for the fire department, Richardson said he’ll be a volunteer until he’s “too old to roll out of the bed.”