HOUSTON—Mary Moore Sullivan was a rock as she bravely spoke on behalf of her daughter, 24-year-old Anne Sullivan, who died with three others battling a five-alarm fire at a southwest Houston motel on May 31.
“Anne Sullivan is three things to me; my loving daughter, my best friend and my hero. She was my hero long before Friday, May 31. Anne always worked hard for what she accomplished and the list is quite long; in academics, sports and then firefighting. When Anne was 17 she came home from soccer and told me she wanted to be a firefighter: every mother’s dream for her daughter. Anne got her EMT and firefighter’s certifications and joined Community and Stafford Volunteer Fire Departments. After countless three-mile runs and workouts to condition her 5-foot, 2-inch frame, she earned her spot in the Houston Fire Department Fast Track Academy where she learned so much, including how to iron a good crease in her dress blue shirt.”
“Anne was so excited to be assigned to Station 68, ‘The busiest station in town,’ she’d tell me. Anne always loved being in the center of the action and boy, did she find it, making close to 20 ambulance calls her first shift. However, she was not prepared for the dessert baking that was required for the probationary status. Before shift, she would make two desserts. The first one she would screw up, and of course that is the one her family got to eat, and the other one for the station. One of our last conversations was how much flour and powdered sugar looked alike. Anne became fast friends with Robert Garner, who we are also honoring today. He was the probationary firefighter before he took Anne under his wing, even by helping her do the dishes, despite direct orders not to.”
It wasn’t until Friday that my family and I fully understood why Anne so loved being a part of the fire fighting family. The care and comfort we have received from the Houston Fire Department as well as the community and Stafford brotherhood and sisterhood has been extraordinary.”
“God bless my beautiful baby girl, Anne, and the three men that join her.”