OHIO COUNTY. W.Va. (WTRF)
He’s worn many badges…but being a first responder is only part of who he is.
Tom Fledderus has helped people on their worst days, all while volunteering time for the community and raising a family.
His care for others is deeply personal.
Tom Fledderus has been in the fire service since he was a young man…starting the Junior Fire Department at the Cadiz Volunteer Fire Department
He ran many fire calls with his father and worked his way up the ladder.
He stayed on in Cadiz for 15 years until joining the Wheeling Fire Department in 1994 as a paramedic.
“I worked under many chiefs at the Department, Cliff Sligar was my first chief. I came on as a paramedic but had to be a firefighter first for half a year and then he moved me to squad two, squad one, rescue one, the rest of my career.”Tom Fledderus – Ohio County EMS
He became a lieutenant and worked his was up to becoming a captain.
I asked him what made him get up everyday and do a job as hard as his and his response was, it’s the job.
“As the trucks say on the side at Wheeling, it’s a tradition and I’ve done it when I was younger and I continue to do it now just in a different form, in a different state, and a different group of people. But it was the job, the love of the job.”Tom Fledderus – Ohio County EMS
He took a step back from the fire service and retired from Wheeling Fire in January of 2022.
He has been battling cancer since 2015.
In 2016 he had a stem cell transplant and is currently living with multiple myeloma.
He wants to stress to firefighters that this could be their reality and to take all the cancer precautions that are offered to them.
“I thought I was being careful. Guys that I worked with retired right alongside me don’t have any problems, but I do have some friends that I lost in this service and I dearly miss them.”Tom Fledderus – Ohio County EMS
But he still wanted to give back..
Now he is a full time paramedic with Ohio County EMS.
Tom says he is always teaching EMS from ACLS to the basics of defibrillation, CPR and recognition for an EKG.
He also volunteered his time with the Boy Scouts, He’s on the board on the Ohio River Valley Council, and raises money for Augusta Levy through obstacle courses.
Hi wife works for the School of Osteopathic Medicine in the New River Gorge area and he volunteers his time to help teach wilderness training that young residents and students can use in the future of their careers.
“There’s nothing better than having a resident or student call back and say they were on a trail and they were hiking, the emergency stuff that they learned came back to help them and what they did. The same with my Boy Scouts, I still have scouts come up to me, my Eagle Scouts, my two boys are Eagle Scouts and they talk about how they’ve used something that we’ve taught them over the years.”Tom Fledderus – Ohio County EMS
Tom had an abundance of nominations for our Behind the Badge series and he wanted to thank all who took the time to send in a kind word about him.
Now if you know someone who goes above any beyond the call of duty please click here to send in your nomination!