Fire Department Travels to Honor Fallen ‘Brother’

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 On Sunday, the McMechen Fire Department came together to honor one of their own, who had passed away in the line of duty in February.

It would be hard to find a firefighter at the McMechen Fire Department who did not know Garry Rose.   

For 37 years Garry worked at the VFD, and his brothers there said he would drop anything to respond to a call.

“Gary Rose was an integral member of our department for many, many years. He was a fixture here in the mornings drinking coffee with guys, in the evening drinking Pepsi with guys. He was a joy to be around, an encouragement,” said Mitchel Johnston, Safety Officer and Chaplain.

“His laughter here at the building, his hijinx he’s played with us, that’s lost and will never be brought back,” added Fire Chief Mark Martin.

Around 30 firefighters traveled to Charleston for the annual memorial service honoring those lost in the line of duty in West Virginia.

As they waited to board the bus, they drank coffee, laughed, and shared happy memories about Garry.  

“Well I think Garry and I had the privilege of earning the stork award with one of the ambulance crews one evening. And just, him being able to say when we got to the hospital “I’m a Papa again,” of course he was already a Dad and a Grandpa. But, just, those are the joys of something we get to do together in the fire department,” said Johnston.

The day was bittersweet, the fire chief said it was a privilege to attend the service, but many tears would be shed when Garry’s name is read and they say goodbye for one last time to their fallen brother.

“Just miss him, every time the whistle goes off, I can see him running up the street, that’s not there no more,” said Martin.

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