PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of the State Fire Marshal will be hosting a ceremony honoring distinguished firefighters for their service and those who have fallen in the line of duty today at 1:30 p.m. in Reynoldsburg.
Among the fallen firefighters to receive the Ohio State Fire Council Award of Recognition, which goes to firefighters who died in the line of duty in the past year, is Rocky Edward Dunkin who worked for the New Boston and Nile Township Fire Departments.
Dunkin, who was responding with the Nile Township Volunteer Fire Department at the scene of an injury accident July 1, collapsed, and later was pronounced dead at Southern Ohio Medical Center.
It was later determined by a preliminary autopsy report from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office that Dunkin had a heart condition that led to his death.
Shane Cartmill, spokesman for the State Fire Marshal’s office said the Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame Awards and Ceremony in Honor of Ohio’s Fallen Firefirghters began in 2008.
“About four years ago we had two firefighters that were killed in the line of duty in Colerain Township just outside of Cincinnati. That year we decided to do a memorial within our building of the firefighters that were killed in the line of duty from the previous year,” Cartmill said. “So we hung their plaques in the lobby and they hung there for the year and after that year they went back to the family or the fire department.”
Cartmill said in years past Hall of Fame inductions took place at the ceremony, but that will not be the case for 2012. The ceremony will feature the Ohio Fire Service Valor award, the Ohio Distinguished Fire Service award, the Ohio Fire Officer of the Year award, the Ohio Fire Educator Lifetime Achievement award and the Fire Council Award of Recognition.
Dunkin will be posthumously awarded the Fire Council Award.
“This year there were six firefighters that died in the line of duty since last September,” Cartmill said. “Among those is firefighter Dunkin from Nile Township and New Boston Fire Departments.”
According to Cartmill, the tradition of hanging the plaques of fallen firefighters in the Fire Marshal headquarters serves as a reminder to current and future generations of Ohio firefighters.
“We honor the firefighters and it is in a part of our building that anybody that is here for training, everybody who works here, firefighters who visit, they will pass those firefighters and it sets the tone to first remember those who served and also to keep your training and fitness up,” Cartmill said. “It serves as a reminder of what can happen in the fire service. It’s both a heritage and a reminder to firefighters.”
Cartmill said representatives of the Nile Township and the New Boston Fire Department along with family members of Dunkin would be in attendance of the ceremony.
The other firefighters who died in the line of duty and will be receiving the 2012 Fire Council Award of Recognition are Firefighter Charlotte Adair of Richfield Township Fire Departmwent, Fire Chief Gregory Baker of Lewisville Volunteer Fire Department, Firefighter Edward Richard Bernosky of Adena Volunteer Fire Department, Captain Michael Burgan of Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue and Fire Chief Robert Tieche of Cardinal Joint Fire District.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.