Road renaming pays tribute to West Virginia’s longest-serving volunteer firefighter

The Chief Robert Edward Dorsey Memorial Highway was dedicated on Thursday, June 6, 2019 in Keyser, W.Va.

KEYSER, W.Va. — Part of Route 46 in Mineral County is now named for the man who holds the record as the longest-serving volunteer firefighter in West Virginia’s history.

A dedication for what is now known as the “Chief Robert Edward Dorsey Memorial Highway” was held Thursday in Keyser.

Bob Dorsey

Dorsey died last September at the age of 98.

He had served for more than 70 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Keyser Volunteer Fire Department before his health forced him to give up the firefighting several years ago.

“He was in his 90s when he ran his last call,” said Delegate Gary Howell (R-Mineral, 56).

Howell sponsored the legislative resolution for the highway naming and talked about it with Keyser’s WKLP, a MetroNews affiliate, prior to Thursday’s ceremony.

“We do these things to honor the people who are heroes and Bob was definitely a hero. He saved a lot of lives over his life working for the fire department,” he said.

Dorsey’s obituary indicated, along with being a record-setting volunteer firefighter, he was a past Keyser police chief, Mineral County sheriff, Smith Ford Sales shop foreman and a funeral assistant with Smith Funeral Hospital.

At the time of his professional retirement, he was circuit clerk in Mineral County.

“He had a huge, long life of public service and it’s a fitting honor,” Howell said of the road naming.

The designated Dorsey highway includes part of Keyser’s West Piedmont Street where the new Keyser Fire Station No. 1 is located.

“Every time the fire truck’s go out on a call, those crews can run on his highway and he can be their guardian angel,” Howell said.

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