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Kanawha County Firefighter Among Those Being Remembered

A West Virginia firefighter is among those being remembered this weekend.

The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will take place on Sunday at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

One of those names to be engraved on the memorial is Joseph "Joey" King. He was a member of the Davis Creek-Ruthdale Volunteer Fire Department in Kanawha County. He died on December 4, 2011 when he fell from a bridge while investigating a fire near Charleston.

The man who set that blaze, 38-year old Charles Roberts, pleaded guilty to third and fourth degree arson and involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to six years in prison back in August.

King and 79 other fallen firefighters from around the country who died in 2011 are being honored during the three day event.

"It’s important that Americans realize there are first responders out there every day keeping their communities safe who are dying and being injured in the line of duty protecting them," says Ron Siarnicki, the Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

The weekend gets underway Friday night when the loved ones of those being honored arrive at the Training Center.  All of their expenses are paid for through the Foundation. Saturday will be filled with events to honor the individual firefighters, including a candlelight service.  Sunday is the memorial service.

"The family comes forward and receives an American flag that flew over the United States Capitol and the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial," explains Siarnicki.  "They receive a red rose, which is our symbol of commitment to their family. And they receive a firefighter line-of-duty death badge with the name of their firefighter inscribed on it."

The memorial service begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.  Siarnicki is asking communities all across the U.S. to get involved.

"We’re encouraging places of worship that have bells to ring them at 10 a.m. to symbolize their support and recognition of fallen firefighters," said Siarnicki.

For more information on the services, you can go to www.firehero.org.

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