Community celebrates Nelson Short’s retirement after 55 years of service

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — East River Volunteer Fire Department engines lined the entrance to the Chuck Mathena Center Sunday afternoon with an American flag raised on one of the ladders.

It is flown high in honor of Nelson Short’s honorable service to their department, which is officially coming to an end. Short arrived to the bash thinking it was a rescheduled holiday party that was canceled in the wake of winter weather.

Instead, he was greeted by a salute from his crew one last time.

“I usually don’t get fooled, but I got fooled this time,” Short laughed.

Short worked with the East River Volunteer Fire Department for 55 years and served as its chief for 27 of them. He was in a room filled with the very people whose lives he touched over the course of his career.

Family, friends, East River Volunteer firefighters, firemen from neighboring stations, and the State Fire Marshall were there to celebrate Short’s legacy. East River VFD Assistant Chief Chuck White and Chief Charlie Blankenship presented him with numerous awards and had guests sign commemorative plaques as a thank-you for his service.

“He’s worked very hard for the community and all the fire departments in the counties,” White said. “He’s taught many young firemen in the school and he’ll be missed, but he’s still here with us.”

While Short is eager to spend time with his wife and on his four-wheelers, he said he will forever be thankful to the volunteers who served with him.

“In fire service, once you get In there and get embedded it’s a family, ” Short said proudly.

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