I’m lying in my bed at the fire station feeling overwhelmed with life, here it is December 3,2011, the holiday’s are here and there is so much to do . Looking back I had no idea what was to come that night. Within minutes of lying down the bells start ringing and I am listening to a fire call that is happening on the other side of the city. As I listen I worry about the safety of my fire departments staff, with recent cuts we are running short staffed and there was a total of 6 engines called to the scene. Thankfully, the fire was put out, hoses rolled up, and turnout gear cleaned preparing for the next run. Wow, we made it through that fire, I just had no idea that in a couple hours a brother firefighter from a neighboring department would make the ultimate sacrifice.
Early Sunday morning the Davis Creek Volunteer Fire Department would be called to investigate burning railroad ties. While investigating the reported fire, Firefighter Joey King fell off an approximate 100ft bridge. Firefighter King was pronounced dead on the scene. Davis Creek is a neighboring city and their Asst. Chief work’s in my house on an opposite shift. The offer to help came from far and wide. Mutual aid on the call and volunteering to fill in his station the “band of Brother and Sisterhood” came from everywhere!
The day’s following FF King’s death I read one of the most inspiring quotes from a neighboring departments facebook page:
“I ran into a friend this morning who asked me about my post on Facebook about the Davis Creek firefighter who died in the line-of-duty this morning. My friend asked if I personally knew the individual who had perished and I answered "I'm not sure - they haven't released the name yet." My friend replied "I've never understood the way firemen react at funerals for those they don't even know." I don't think they meant disrespect just misunderstanding of our "family".
“I explained that every man or woman who put on a uniform to serve the public (be it fire, EMS or police) I consider my brother or sister. I may have never laid eyes on the individual before in my life but they are part of my family. A family I would lay down my life to save. As in any family, we have disagreements and sometimes downright arguments but when push comes to shove I know my brothers and sisters have my back and will do anything to protect me. “
“If you have never experienced a firefighter's funeral I would invite you to come and watch hundreds (or even thousands) of men and women pay respect to their brother who gave his life in service to his community. There will be brothers and sisters who travel from out-of-state to honor this individual who lost his life protecting others. You will witness big, burly men tear up as the bagpipes are played and as the last call is sounded. “
“But most importantly, I invite you, no I encourage you, to come and honor this individual who gave his life in service. Because, just as my "family" will risk their lives for their brothers and sisters, they risk it everyday for you - a total stranger. “
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Deron Wilkes Hurricane Fire Department, Hurricane West Virginia
This quote sums up our family in truly inspiring words. Let’s take a moment to say a prayer for Firefighter King and keep his memory alive in us! Even though we may have not known him personally, he will always be part of our FAMILY!
God Bless the King Family and the members of the Davis Creek Fire Department