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Wheeling swears in new fire chief, Helms’ retirement not taking him too far away

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A big honor to our heroes in the Friendly City and the new fire chief sworn was in today

Wheeling, WV (WTRF)- It’s a big honor to those who put their life on the line for our safety every day. Wheeling police officers and firefighters got recognized today in a Public Safety Recognition Ceremony

It’s a special day for these heroes, but Friday marks the end of an era for longtime Fire Chief Larry Helms.

Chief Helms calls his last 35 years as Fire Chief a success. Some of his proudest moments involve rescuing three people from fires and his countless resuscitations from cardiac arrests.

But he also gives a lot of credit to his fellow firefighters.

Helms is also proud of the new equipment and repairs they’ve done to the department. He has nothing but his work family and home family left to thank, and is ready to hand the title over to Jim Blazier, who’s just been sworn in today.

“It was because of the firefighters we had in the audience that I had success. I truly meant that. That’s the way it has been. I’ve always had the support of my members and my family. it’s been a great ride, and I’m really gonna miss it. Chief Blazier is going to do a tremendous job for the city.”

Chief Larry Helms, Wheeling fire department

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be a fire fighter, was able to achieve that dream 32 years ago, and this is just another stepping stone in my career that’s been very humbling.”

Jim Blazier, New Wheeling fire chief

Chief Helms also adds every fire fighter he’s worked with has done something to touch his life and career. He won’t officially retire the fire department until tomorrow, and Jim Blazier will step up at that time.

During the ceremony, chiefs also recognized several heroic efforts made last year by the police and fire departments and many had been promoted within the ranks.

Helms will be joining the City’s Building and Planning Department as the new building code official.
Director of Building and Planning, Tom Connelly, said Helms will be a great addition to his team.

Helms’ final day as fire chief is Friday and he will begin his new role on Monday.

He said he is pleased to be able to continue working for the Friendly City.

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