EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFallen Firefighters Honored Locally And Nationwide
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Oct. 6, 2013 5:39 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 6, 2013 11:21 PM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Around 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year.
And Sunday, those fallen firefighters were remembered.
Eyewitness News spoke with local firefighters who have lost brothers on the job here in our region.
When John Appleton died in the line of duty four months ago, it was a major blow to the Malden community.
Appleton preached at Kanawha Saline Presbyterian Church in Malden, and volunteered as a firefighter. He died from a medical condition on the scene of a fire in Sissonville.
“It has been tough on the congregation,” Tim Skiles, of Malden said. “We're doing well. John would want the congregation to continue to thrive. Our numbers are increasing. A lot of good work is going on because of what he started before his passing.”
Just last month, Eleanor's fire chief, Shane Jividen died in a four-wheeling accident.
His death not only shook up the community where he served, but fellow firefighters from all around.
EMS, police and firefighters competed in the Guns and Hoses softball tournament this weekend for the Make a Wish foundation. On the day of remembering fallen firefighters, the friendly competition helped ease the pain.
“It's a burden and affects the whole community and fire department,” Jonathan Smoot, of the Charleston Fire Department, said. “This helps us by coming together.”
Firefighters in West Virginia will have a statewide memorial service for fallen firefighters later this month.
Fallen firefighters were honored Sunday in the Mountain State, and around the country.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered all U.S. and state flags to be displayed at half staff at government facilities.
The lowering of the flags is part of the national Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, which honors 81 firefighters during a service in Maryland.
The service marks the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week, which runs through Oct. 12.
The Kanawha Valley lost a firefighter in the line of duty earlier this year, when Malden firefighter and chaplin John Appleton died.
Appleton died from medical condition while on the scene of a fire in Sissonville this summer.
He was also a pastor at the Kanawha Salines Church in Malden, which is holding a service Sunday night.
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