Firefighters, friends and family from all over West Virginia gathered at the Capitol Grounds for the Memorial to the Fallen Firefighters of the State. Two firefighters gave the ultimate sacrifice, Chief Paul Walters of the Bethlehem VFD and Firefighter Gary Rose of the McMechen VFD died in the Line of Duty. Their names were attached to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial next to the Cultural Center in Charleston.
The West Virginia State Firemen’s Association President John Holstein had this to say at the Memorial:
“Two sets of bunker gear are empty. Two different engines with empty seats. Two different fire houses that will be forever affected. To the family and friends of Chief Paul Walters of Bethlehem VFD and Firefighter Gary Rose of the McMechen VFD, we cannot express our condolences, but we can assure you, these firefighters shall never be forgotten. We gather here today to remembers our fallen. The names of which, indelibly engraved upon this memorial. At the Golden Firehouse, stands two more at attention, mustering for roll call in front of an Angel as Captain and before the Supreme Fire Chief. We lost our brothers; Heaven gained two more firefighters.”
Governor Early Ray Tomblin issued a Proclamation designating October 11 2015 as West Virginia Fallen Firefighter Memorial Day.