W.Va. county dedicates monument to fallen responders

The monument was dedicated in remembrance of the first five EMS and fire professionals who died in the line of duty


By Marcus Constantino
Charleston Daily Mail

NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. — A monument to honor fallen Nicholas County fire and EMS personnel was dedicated at the Nicholas County Courthouse on Sunday.

The Nicholas County Firefighter and EMS Monument was dedicated in remembrance of five first responders who have died in the line of duty: James Bennett, Johnnie Hammons, Timothy Nicholas, Jennings Spencer and Kevin Ritchie.

Firefighters Hammons and Nicholas died while responding to a house fire in Cottle on Feb. 19, 2009. Firefighter Bennett died on Aug. 5, 1984, while attempting to rescue two boys stranded on a rock in the Gauley River.

EMS technician Spencer died on Jan. 2, 1981, in an ambulance wreck, and EMS technician Ritchie died after falling off the Meadow River Bridge during a traffic accident on Nov. 15, 1997.

Sen. Greg Tucker, D-Nicholas, secured $7,000 in grant funding from the Department of Health of Human Services to build the monument in December 2011. The Nicholas County Commission paid an additional $1,400.

Much of the labor and supplies for the monument were donated by area individuals and businesses.

Wayne Acord of Acord Surveying donated his services to survey the site of the monument, City of Summersville workers cleared a tree from the site, and Michael Cox, president of Redi-Care Ambulance, donated the center blocks for the form of the monument and bought a prayer plaque for the monument. Stone mason James Ringsborg designed and built the monument.

The monument was built on the Nicholas County Courthouse lawn at a total cost of $8,120.20.

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©2014 the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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