MOUNDSVILLE, W.V.a. - Since he was 15 years old, Moundsville Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Kimple has been fighting fires in Marshall county.
For him, the fire service is all about tradition, family, and the people you're fighting with.
Inspired as a kid by watching his Dad, Pap, and uncles answer the call, he followed their lead.
He started his career started as a volunteer in 1991, now it's full time job and that has brought some of the most special people into his life.
"When I was little, he ran with my Dad out Fork Ridge, so we kind of knew each other as kids," said Kimple
That's how he met his wife Carrie, who's been proudly by his side from day one.
"She's scared at times, because it depends on the type of fire and what I'm getting into, but the ladies the wives I guess you'd say kind of hang together, and talk together," said Kimple.
Two of his very best friends, the late chief Noel Clarke, and the current chief Gary Brandon.
"This place means a lot to us because we have a lot of memories of Noel, a lot of memories of training and drilling, a lot of good memories," said Kimple.
It's brought bittersweet memories too. Over the last year the small department has been through a lot.
Alongside Chief Brandon, Kevin put everything he had into keeping the department alive.
"We spent many hours here on duty doing our normal jobs, and then we'd come in here off duty, spend until 10, 11 o clock at night, or we'd be here on the weekends," said Kimple.
After Chief Clarke's passing, one of his missions is to educate other departments about staying healthy on the job. "We're a brotherhood, we want to make sure everybody's safe, everybody goes home at the end of the day."
Another is to give back, installing smoke detectors, giving out bike helmets, and inviting kids to the firehouse.
"This is a traditional fire department and it's been here forever and we want to keep it here forever," said Kimple.
Noel's picture and gear bucket is still in his office, reminding him when he puts on his own gear he's not just helping people, he's keeping memories alive. "I hope we do at least half the job that he did," said Kimple.
Gold Khourey and Turak will be helping the department put up plaques around the firehouse in Noel's honor.
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