Firefighters honored at Centerville memorial

Firefighters, killed in the line of duty, are honored at Stubbs Park in Centerville (WDTN/Matt Behrens)

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Firefighters, killed in the line of duty, were honored Sunday at Stubbs Park in Centerville.

It was a part of the 24th Annual Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial Ceremony.

Taps were played, names were read, and a bell sounded for each of the 65 people who gave their life protecting the community since 1857.

Organizers for the event say these heroes must be remembered.

“A day like today for the firefighters, it has a special meaning, but for the public it reminds you that we are out there. If you have a problem, you can call us. We will come,” said former firefighter Denny Perkins.

No matter how big or small the danger, he says firefighters will leap into battle.

The president and co-founder of the memorial, Perkins wants the families of these fallen firefighters to have a place to remember their loved ones and their bravery.

Perkins is thinking of people like Ruth O’Toole who lost her son in the winter of 1998 when he was responding to an accident.

“(They) went down back to the car to disconnect the batteries which was uh– it’s general procedure that they’re suppose to do this and another vehicle came off the black ice and hit all three of them. Policeman was killed instantly and Bob died after he was care flighted to Miami Valley,” explained O’Toole.

16 years later, the mom remembers that call about her son’s tragic incident.

But she’s happy to have a place like the Stubbs Park memorial to honor him.

“It means a lot and the community– Centerville, Washington Township– the whole area has been very, very supportive,” she said.
“They have a street named after Bob.”

It’s this type of recognition that organizers hope families will receive through the memorial.

Organizers say while this is important for families that it’s just as important for the public.

They hope residents will take the time to visit this memorial and honor these firefighters for their sacrifice to keep us safe.

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