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Wood County Firefighter Association honors the lives of former firefighters

The “Ringing of the Bell” ceremony was conducted to honor former members who passed away in 2019 and 2020
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 11:01 AM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -With the ceremonious ringing of the bells, the annual Wood County Firefighters Association’s memorial service was complete.

The service, which was hosted by the Parkersburg Fire Department, honored 10 firemen from Parkersburg, Vienna and Mineral Wells who had previously retired from their service and passed away either in 2020 or 2019.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Mathews explained the significance of the bells during the memorial.

“We utilize these traditions as symbols which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much and who have served so well. To symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty, a special signal of three rings represents the end of our companions’ duties and that they will return to quarters.”

In addition to the ringing of the bell, a firefighter prayer was recited by Mineral Wells Fire Chief Terry Thomas.

“Able me to be alert and hear the weakest shout and quickly and efficiently put the fire out. I want to fulfill my calling. I want to do the best to guard my friends and neighbors and protect their property…”

A wreath was then placed on the grounds near the Parkersburg Fire Department Firefighter memorial as a tribute to the members who passed away.

Mathews said the Parkersburg Fire Department has only had three active duty deaths in the history of the fire department and that the department will continue the 200 plus-year-old tradition of ringing a bell three times for each fallen member of Wood County’s fire departments.

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