WELCH, WV (WVNS)– Fireman from departments across McDowell County held a dedication at the Fireman’s Memorial in Welch on Saturday, July 4.
Public Relations Officer for Welch Fire Department Pat McKinney said it is a solemn tribute to all fire fighters in the county that lost their lives in the line of duty.
“We are dedicating the site for our fireman’s memorial that we are going to have here at Welch Station 2,” McKinney said. “It’s a big undertaking, it’s going to take us a couple years to get the full figures erected. When they get erected we will have 3 flag poles with fireman that look like they slid down a fire pole here in place.”
During the ceremony they remembered the most recent victim, Iaeger Volunteer Firefighter Russel Roberson was tragically killed in a house fire on Father’s Day. McKinney said it was only a week before his death when they decided to put this memorial in. While they wish their comrades like Roberson were still with them – they are honored to remember them as heroes.
“We are just so tickled that we’re going to get a chance to pay Amish to those who run into that fire, jerk that car door open trying to get you out, who respond to that bomb threat, respond to that chemical spill and don’t make it back,” McKinney said.
McKinney said this will become an annual 4th of July commemoration.
After the ceremony the fire fighters hopped in their trucks and drove through Welch as a part of the annual Fireman’s Parade. Crews from Welch, Iaeger, Kimball, Northfork and Gary Volunteer Fire Departments all participated.