Roland 'Rusty' Hesmondhalgh III passed away on January 5, 2018, while on assignment to the U.S. Army as the first Director of Emergency Services for the Novo Selo Training Area in Bulgaria. The Memorial Service will be held February 13, 2018, at 1400 hours/2:00 pm in the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island Recruit Chapel at Parris Island, South Carolina. Rusty had been scheduled to return to his position as MCRD Parris Island Fire Chief on February 25. Rusty was the younger child born to Roland Hesmondhalgh Sr. and Patricia Ann Green, a couple known throughout their Atlanta high school because of Hoss's rugged good looks and athletic skills and Pat's classic, delicate blonde beauty. Gabrielle Anderson, Rusty's sister and an esteemed Medical Auditor, spent many years as an accomplished Risk Management administrator for a major Florida hospital. It is the opinion of many that she became attracted to this profession after years of observing Rusty navigate a special talent for Getting Into Things. Like moto-cross racing, sky-diving, scuba diving and teaching, horseback riding, various activities in his Navy enlisted career that We Can't Discuss, hanging out with truly entertaining friends like Phil and Joe and Henry and of course, marrying Lisa. Rusty didn't marry Lisa on May 19, 1989. Lisa did, however, marry Rusty on this date in the Manatee County Courthouse in Bradenton, Florida, under the watchful eyes of Joe Ogilby, Ed Woodruff (witness for the home team) and Lisa's mother, Eleanor, who was the primary Judicial Administrator for the Hon. Robert E. Hensley. The marriage was predicted in October of 1975 when Lisa drew a bead on Rusty's shy good looks as he stood outside the Palmetto High School band room. Little did she know. Back to business: During his nearly 36-year career with the Department of Defense, Rusty worked as the Station Captain of the USN Fire Department on Diego Garcia, a British Indian Ocean Territory. This was where he met his mentor, Fire Chief Andy Koelling. Rusty was also assigned as Damage Control Trainer aboard the USS America and Command Career Counselor for VF-45 in Key West. Perhaps not coincidentally, Key West is also where Rusty's favorite and only son, Roland Hesmondhalgh IV, was born. In 1995 Rusty moved to the civilian side of the Navy and followed Chief Koelling to NAS Lemoore in California as a Fire Inspector before transferring to the desert island paradise of NAS Guantanamo Bay. Fire Chief Bill Baldwin recognized Rusty's talent for alchemy with personnel and lean budgets and promoted him to Assistant Chief of Operations where he stayed for five years until receiving a transfer and promotion to Navy Region Northwest as the Regional Deputy Fire Chief. The Pacific Northwest has many fine trees and large mountains. His next five-year assignment was as Fire Chief at NSA Naples, Italy where he discovered interesting accounting techniques, a few great friends such as Enzo and Mario Santoro and the challenges of instituting change where none had gone before. He also invented a uniquely cost-saving force multiplier he named the AFFF-the Auxiliary Fire-Fighting Force. By providing a full basic firefighter academy training to military and DoD volunteers, he supplemented his staffing during times of excessive leave use or, in the special case of Naples, during the occasional labor strikes of his Italian firefighters. During his time at Naples, Rusty also began the invaluable task of mentoring the next generation of fire service leaders by discovering an extremely rough diamond known as Assistant Chief Robert Wieder. Rusty's brief tour with the Army in Bulgaria was another example of jumping into a situation or department that required an overload of patience and creativity. However he truly enjoyed his time with the Big Green Machine and the people of Sliven. But his legacy was going to be as Parris Island Fire Chief. In his first two years, he started the Wacky Dog Costume Contest at Halloween, arranged outdoor movies and barbecues by the Fire Station and during Christmas holidays he jumped into the Fire Department's community festivities by dressing as a pixie and giving out gifts. Yes, there are photos you should see. Rusty wasn't all fun and games at work; there were activities to deepen the bonds between his firefighters and the communities they protected. Administrators who worked with Rusty discovered he was the biggest stone they'd ever had in their collective shoe and if they were wise, they also discovered that the only motivation for his 'out of the box' ideas was to improve his department's ability to do their jobs. He was the last one to take overtime, the only one to turn down gedunk trips, and the best one to find money hiding in strange bureaucratic places so that he could send his people to better and more training or find better equipment. Rusty discovered that it's not the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, he figured out he needed to take the darn wheel off, clean the axle, polish everything up, put it all back together and then run over whatever was in his way. His favorite cliche was 'It's better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.' Or something like that. Rusty's mother, Pat and the other matriarch in his life, his Grandmother, Beulah Muzette Whittle, and best friend and brother-in-law, Michael Anderson, were hopefully waiting in Bulgaria to provide a suitable inbrief before he and Michael took off to go fishing. Rusty's previous hobbies including hunting, fishing, kayaking, cooking, being a white-knuckled passenger when L.D. drove and planning his little 10-acre farm where he could grow enough to support the local food banks. His favorite things were Snapper, his Dobermann Pinscher, the five rescue dogs he brought back from Naples, making up humorous public safety speeches involving his wife in her pajamas, and wishing he could spend more time with his son. If you're interested in doing something special to celebrate Rusty's life, please consider donating to either DonorsChoose.org or Dogsforbetterlives.org. These organizations support causes that Rusty cared about. Because flowers die and there's too much of that around lately.