Roll of Honor

James C. Wilber

James C. Wilber

  • Assistant Chief
  • Franklin Fire Department
  • New York
  • Age: 58
  • Year of Death: 2014

James Wilber was born on April 7, 1955, to Frederick and Dorothy Wilber of Wells Bridge, New York. As a child he enjoyed spending time with his family and being outdoors, a passion that followed him the rest of his life.

James became a volunteer fire fighter in 1972 when he joined the Wells Bridge Volunteer Fire Department. After volunteering with Wells Bridge for several years he joined the Franklin Fire Department, where he continued to serve his community until his passing.

James became a very active member of the Franklin Fire Department, serving as an assistant chief and working on several of the department’s committees, such as the building committee. Jim worked with many of the other firemen in this department to earn several grants to purchase new trucks and gear and to put a very large addition on the firehouse. Jim also served on the area’s F.A.S.T. team.

Jim was an avid sportsman, who loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as riding ATVs. Jim was the happiest when he was outdoors or spending time with his family. He always found time to help out any friends and neighbors who were in need, helping to care for their animals while they were away or even performing yard work for them.

Jim was driven by a strong calling to serve his community. Day or night, no matter what he was doing or how tired he was, he answered the call. He was a selfless man who would give anything he had to help someone in need. He spent forty plus years of his life working to help his community and loved every moment of it. Jim cherished all of his brothers and sisters in the fire service and thought of them all as family, whether he personally knew them or not.

Jim passed away on February 9, 2014, of a cardiac event on his way to a motor vehicle accident. He is survived by his wife, Susan; his son, Ken; his mother, Dorothy; his sister, Deb; and many nieces and nephews.

Every year during the Christmas season, Jim would always visit the angel tree in the local stores and look for children that were asking Santa for fire trucks. He would always pick out the coolest and most expensive fire truck toys he could find and donate them to these children in need. After his passing, his family founded Jim’s Fire Squad, a charity that donates fire department related toys to children’s hospitals. Like us on Facebook at

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