By Lynnette EsseFollowing the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Ed Kelso, a retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent living in Quail Ridge, had a desire to give back and make a difference in his community. With the fire station located just a few miles away, and his six years of experience as a member of a volunteer fire company when he was in high school and college, joining Little Fork was a perfect fit.
After some initial refresher training in 2002, Ed began primarily driving the ambulance, but is qualified to drive various other heavy rescue equipment. He became the President of Little Fork in 2006. He said, “I am the POE – President of Everything! I am responsible for the maintenance of the property, including the grounds and the building. I take care of everything from restocking the paper towels, to getting the vehicles inspected.”
All of these responsibilities keep Ed very involved. He makes a minimum of two trips a day to the station. He is on-call from 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday evening until 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning each week, when he primarily responds from home. With his flexible schedule, he is also able to fill in when there are holes in the schedule. He was one of the original members of the Large Animal Rescue Team, was a “top 5” call-runner for 11 years, and has been in the “top 10” for two years. He said, “When I see that somebody is better off at the hospital, that’s all the thanks I need. I get a lot of self-satisfaction from the service I help provide.”
Chief Doug Monaco commented, “Long time member, Ed Kelso, has been in a leadership position of the Company for some time. As President he ensures that the administrative functions of the Company run in a smooth and cohesive manner. Ed will go the extra mile to make his community a safe place to live. Most of the community may not realize this, but they or their children have probably met Ed during the Christmas holiday season as he is incognito the rest of the year!”
Ever since his retirement Ed has become an avid big game hunter, traveling to such exotic places as Siberia, Argentina, Canada, and all over the United States, including Alaska. He says he has seen some of the “best sunrises and sunsets ever” while he was hunting. For the past five years he has been a Hunter Education Instructor for the State of Virginia, teaching a 6-hour session for new hunters. He is also a registered Private Investigator in the State of Virginia.
With his Bachelor of Science degree from Western Maryland College, his Masters of Science in Forensic Science from George Washington University, and his experience with the FBI, Ed never tires of sharing his knowledge with the next generation of our country’s leaders. Eight to ten times a year Ed travels to College Station, Texas to teach a 5-day course for first responders and planners from all over the country including, fire fighters, police officers, and city management officials. He is an Adjunct Instructor (Observer/Controller) for the Emergency Operations Training Center, Disaster Preparedness and Response, through Texas Engineering Extension Service, a part of the Texas A&M University System. He currently participates in the Enhanced Incident Management/Unified Command training program.
During his 29 years with the FBI, Ed was a Bomb Technician, specializing in the fields of explosives, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and the forensic processing of crime scenes. As Chief of the FBI’s Evidence Response Teams, he developed, trained, equipped, and coordinated their responses to major incidents such as the first World Trade Center bombing, the crash of TWA Flight 800, and the Oklahoma City bombing. As a member, and eventually Chief of the FBI Bomb Data Center, Ed was the Administrator of the only school to train civilian bomb technicians for
Following his graduation from college, Ed was invited to participate in the National Football League draft by both the Chicago Bears and the Saint Louis Cardinals. Having just received a commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was unable to participate. He served as a Command Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer in the Marine Corps for over 5 years. His service included two combat tours, to Vietnam and the Dominican Republic, and an assignment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during the water crisis. He resigned his commission in 1968.
Ed has two sons and four grandchildren who live in Virginia and he looks forward to the time he is able to spend with them.
Ed sums up his life with the comment, “My life has really come full circle. I began as a teen with service to my community through fire and rescue service, and now I have come back to my roots, doing something I love. Now, again, I have the honor and privilege to serve my neighbors in a way that truly makes a difference. It just feels right!”