After 45 years, Wirt County firefighter retires

Doug Hill served in every position, including chief
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 5:36 PM EDT
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ELIZABETH, W.Va (WTAP) -Before his recent retirement, Assistant Elizabeth-Wirt County Fire Chief Douglas Hill held every position in the fire department-including 10 years as its fire chief.

Health issues prompted him to step aside recently.

But while he won’t be responding to calls any more, he plans to stay involved with the fire company, including eventually taking part in a planned expansion, something that has, along with other fire department activties, slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ll continue to do the treasury part for the fire department,” Hill told us Wednesday. “We’re in the middle of a building addition, trying to finish it up. Once we start our fundraising up-another thing COVID-19 has stopped, all our fundraising events, that’s been hard on us-once things get straightened up, I hope to get started with fundraising events again.”

What has changed about his job in the past 45 years? Hill came on as a volunteer firefighter, but in the era of 9-1-1, that job expanded to responding to just about every type of emergency.

Extracation of victims from car crashes began in the 1970′s. Hill notes firefighters have increasingly been called to downed trees, which, in some cases may not be emergencies.

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