Paul F. Walters II proudly lived a life of service to others. When the alarm sounded, Paul responded. This was true for all aspects of Paul’s life. Paul was like a modern day Good Samaritan. Paul learned about service to his community from his late father, Paul F. Walters I, police chief of Bethlehem. However, some boys love fire trucks even more than they love police cruisers, so Paul joined the Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department just as soon as he could, at age 16. Paul grew and advanced with his service in fire, rescue, and emergency medical work. Paul is one of only a few men who can boast that he loved fire and EMS work so much that he married the fire chief’s daughter, Rebecca L. Weisner. Together, Paul and Becky served the greater Bethlehem area proudly, tirelessly, and selflessly, until Paul’s untimely death on October 11, 2014.
In the course of his service, Paul received many awards and achievements, including all officer classes, EMT-B, state paramedic champion, Pro Board certification (242nd in WV), HAZMAT operations, certified OSHA, and fire instructor.
Paul enjoyed his 39 years of service with the department, 25 of those years as chief. Bethlehem Fire Department members describe Paul as a leader, mentor, instructor, and friend. Paul served as a father figure to many of his junior firefighters. He was instrumental in planning and spec’ing the newest fire truck, which was dedicated in his honor in 2016.
Paul also enjoyed his vocation as a licensed journeyman electrician. Many work hours were spent performing supervisory and safety duties. Paul was a member of IBEW Local 141.
As a member of St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church, Paul was on the church council, a deacon, lead electrician/maintenance man, and head chef in charge of the spaghetti sauce for the annual fundraising spaghetti dinner.
Service and dedication defined Paul’s life. Paul was possibly one of the last of a vanishing breed. Former Chief Robert Weisner Sr. recalled examples of Paul’s service to his community, “After going to a home that had a fire, with no smoke alarms, he made sure that they received a free smoke alarm and installed it. When the power was off, he loaned portable generators and oxygen tanks to people with medical problems. He would have crews help pump out flooded basements after storms. Due to the increase in oil/gas wells in the area, he made sure that all fire department members had HAZMAT training to keep everyone prepared.”
Paul was also very proud of his members and their dedication to their community. Paul F. Walters II helped to create our future, and in this manner he continues to serve us to this day.