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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Assistant Chief
Age: 46
Year of Death: 2019

Walter David Wagaman

Walter David “Walt” Wagaman lost his life on August 14, 2019, due to injuries sustained on August 2, 2019, while responding to an auto accident. Walt, Assistant Chief 27 of the Buchanan Valley Fire Department in Adams County, Pennsylvania, was born on June 19, 1973, and grew up in “the valley.” He became a junior member at the age of 14 and rode his bike to respond until he was able to drive.

He was Assistant Chief 27 for ten years and loved being in the fire department. He was a leader, mentor, friend, brother, son, father, and husband. Always willing to do what was asked, he would go above and beyond. When duty called, he went.

At our events, he was head chicken cook, a.k.a. “Chicken Man.” He enjoyed being at events and helping out wherever help was needed. Everyone loved his chicken. He was always checking on everyone, making sure they were OK.

Courageous, thoughtful, selfless, caring, strong, and loving was who Walt was. How do you measure the sacrifices he made, to always be there and do for others in the manner he did? Walt had strong morals and always put others first, before himself.

Walt is survived by his wife, Vickie Wagaman, whom he was married to for 14 years. He is also survived by his parents, James and Crystal Arter; his daughter, Dezerea Whistler; and his son, Eric Staub. He enjoyed spending downtime with his family and his two nephews, Brayden and Jace. They were his heroes.

He will forever be missed by his wife, family, and friends, and the Buchanan Valley Fire Department. His soul is in the valley and will forever remain there. He is our hero and is still saving lives through the Gift of Life program through organ donation. He will forever remain in our hearts, a hero’s hero to many.


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  1. You are to this day my hero and you will forever be my hero. I miss you so much everyday, more and more as time passes by. I love you forever! Keep fighting those fires in Heaven and keep watching us here on earth. Love you! Your wife, Vick

    – Vickie Wagaman
  2. Uncle Walt I miss u so much I love u so much u were always my hero and always will be keep doing what u love in heaven

    – Desirae Shane