DAYTON, Ohio– A former Dayton Firefighter is remembered this Memorial Day after he was killed from an illness contracted in the line of duty.
It’s a Memorial Day service of a different kind.
It pays tribute to a man that served our community.
“His love of children, his love of animals, his desire to always make a difference we saw all these traits in him, all of his life,” said Halcomb’s sister, Marsha Lucas.
Rickie Halcomb became a Dayton Firefighter Paramedic in 1993. For nine years he looked out for the Dayton community before he retired. He even risked his own life putting his face mask on a victim, earning him a Metal of Valor.
“Maybe someday that rookie that’s doing some grunt work will look over at that valor award and think I wonder what that guy did I want to be like that. I want to go above and beyond and be the best damn fire fighter I can be,” said Halcomb’s wife Jennifer.
But while he was on-duty one day responding to a extrication operation he was exposed to Hepatitis C.
“The disease caused by this virus manifested itself over the next several years causing a myriad of health problems,” said Assistant Chief Paul Sheehan with the Dayton Fire Department.
That disease took his life this past March, but before he died he made sure fire departments would learn from the accident.
“Which lead to infectious disease base line testing for all Dayton fire department personnel,” said Assistant Chief Sheehan.
He helped introduce legislation to provide needle-less IV’s and increase fire department training when it comes to blood born pathogens.
So with the ringing of one final call, people gather to remember the husband, friend, and firefighter who left so much to this community.