PARKERSBURG - Wood County Firefighters Association held its annual service Monday evening to honor comrades who have passed away in the last year.
Firefighters, first responders and emergency medical service workers from Wood County gathered to honor the firefighters.
"Someone at home, not just us, is missing them dearly so we notice their absence in our ranks and they will be missed as the days go on everywhere they have served," said Lt. Kevin Siers with the Parkersburg Fire Department.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Fire Department Capt. Tim Flinn, left, places a wreath with Wood County Firefighters Association chaplain and member of the Parkersburg Fire Department Lt. Kevin Siers Monday beside wreathes honoring firefighters at Parkersburg City Hall.
Siers conducted the ceremony that honored four fallen Wood County firefighters.
Those remembered were Randy Uppole with Deerwalk Volunteer Fire Department, former Lubeck Volunteer Fire Chief Virgil Flinn, Vienna Volunteer Fire Chief Danny Goodwin and Williamstown Volunteer Fire Chief Joe Ruf.
Capt. Tim Flinn honored his father, Virgil, who passed away last September after serving as the fire chief for Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department for 19 years. Virgil was a member of the department since 1963.
Flinn honored his late father by placing a new wreath by a memorial near the Parkersburg Municipal Building.
"It's honorable to follow in his footsteps," Flinn said of his father. "I know he'd be very proud of everyone that served under him; a lot of guys have carried on with their careers he helped get started."
Flinn said he had been unable to attend the memorial service for the past several years but made an extra effort to honor his father this year.
"They were the leaders of this generation," Flinn said of the firefighters.
Siers said those who pass away are always remembered by their comrades by having the memorial service each year. He said this year was special and rare because he knew each of the former firefighters.
"These are more than just letters on a piece of paper," Siers said of the names. "These are our brothers that I'm speaking of."
He said the firefighters, paid and volunteer, all have the same goals to get up every morning and face the same dangers.
"We can all look back on the example they've set and conduct our lives in a similar manner," Siers said before closing the ceremony in prayer.
Each of those honored had at least 50 years of service to the volunteer fire departments, Siers said.