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Random Thoughts: A Community Conversation with David Bell

David Bell [personal photo]

This week, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine talks with David Bell, a new board member with Central County Fire & Rescue [CCFR]. David joined the board in January 2018, replacing longtime board member Bob Carpenter. He is a resident of St. Peters and has been an employee of Reckitt Benckiser for over 10 years. He studied engineering and music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville [SIUE], where he met his wife, Sadie. The couple has two daughters and a son.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
I’ll stick with LA. [At age 19,] I was in a group of about eight youths [on a mission trip]. We went to talk to the homeless youths … and try to give them help and direct them to a ministry that helped runaways. It helped set them up with housing, food and clothing. We saw a lot of teenagers our age and a lot of people who went to LA looking for fame and pretty much fell on hard times and had to live on the street. It was really a situation that showed me about making better decisions, and just put me in an area to try to help others … My love for the community I live in, my drive to help others, that’s where it kind of stemmed from, was doing that mission work around the United States.

What values are most important to you?
Trust is No. 1. I read a horoscope every now and then, and I’m a Scorpio. They always say, “If you lose a Scorpio’s trust, you never get it back.” It’s kind of true for me because, in the past, if something happens that causes me to lose trust, it pretty much puts a wall up and it’s very hard for me to bring that wall down. I take that into account with the relationships I cultivate and have with different people, I want to make sure I keep that trust and don’t do anything that would break that trust with my loved ones or my family … [or my] colleagues. So, one of my values would be trust. Also, family … you have to keep them close … and be there for them … [so] my kids can have that example. When they get older, they can live a life that’s exemplary based off that example.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I have a few things that I do. I play saxophone, I volunteer and play guitar at my church, but I also have a little photography business called Davey B Photography. I do a lot of family photoshoots. So, I already don’t get a lot of sleep. I think I’d spend all my extra time editing photos and doing more photo shoots … My kids play soccer, so we try to get to games and we’re trying to go to practices … So, I don’t have a lot of time.

What risks are worth taking?
The one that comes to mind as far as what I do with [CCFR] is the risk our firefighters take every day. They are willing to run into a burning building in order to save the lives of people in our district … They leave their families to go to work, and they work 48-hour shifts. It could be the last time they see their loved ones, but they’re willing to take the risk. That’s something that’s a worthwhile risk, and it’s something that all of our first responders do – our police officers, our firefighters, our members of the military, everyone. They all take that risk, and I’m so appreciative. I think it’s a risk that’s well worth it.

Who inspires you to be better?
The first person that comes to mind is my mother [Christine Bell] …[who raised] seven kids on her own … [and] pretty much was the example of what to do to strive for excellence, no matter the situation. She was the inspiration for me to work hard … she was at every baseball game. She was at every football game. She was at every concert, every band event, anything. She was also a booster parent who worked midnight shifts, so she was always at the school … I had to be sure I wasn’t being bad, because she could be up there any time … She really showed me the drive you needed to live a life by example, and what I need to set for my own kids.


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