Jeffrey Alan Koval

Jeffrey Alan Koval

Submitted by his wife

Jeff was very dedicated to his work as a volunteer firefighter here in Inkom‚ ID. He never missed a call and was almost always the first one there ready to go. He worked very hard for the department both in fighting fires and maintaining the equipment. The chief could always rely on Jeff to do the work and do it well. The night before his death during the Spider fire here in Inkom‚ during a debriefing‚ the chief asked for volunteers to stay and watch the fire for a while throughout the night. No one really wanted to do it but the silence was driving Jeff crazy. Even though his wife was home pregnant and due in just three weeks‚ Jeff offered to stay. Well he didn’t end up staying because of his family responsibilities but was right back bright and early on the fire the next morning by 7:00am. This is just a little of what and who Jeff was. He was very much a family man. He loved his family (wife LeeAnn‚ daughters Jordyn and Alyssa‚ son Jason and soon to be son Jeffrey Jr!.) he would say‚ ‘More than air.’ He was also very dedicated to his community. He worked for the city of Inkom as their only maintainance man doing everything there is to running a city. He did it beautifully and with much pride. Jeff was a member the the fire department for four years in which he also became an EMT. He loved his work and the people that he associated with in the department and the entire community. But most of all he loved his family. We love him and miss him very much and are especially grateful for the time we had with him and the legacy he left for us‚ his family.

Mark A. Morgan

Mark A. Morgan

He was a wonderful son, brother, husband, and uncle. He loved being a North Carolina forest ranger and wildfire firefighter. He had a passion being outside in all of the elements especially snow. Mark loved getting the call to head out west and join his fellow wildfire firefighters in battling the big fires in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and California. He often spoke of the beautiful skies, the starry nights, and the fellowship of the firefighter brotherhood when he was at camp with them. He was a true outdoorsman and hero.

Ricardo M. Ruiz

Ricardo M. Ruiz

There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.

Charles G. Krenek

There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.

Melinda ‘Mindy’ J. Ohler

Melinda 'Mindy' J. Ohler

Submitted by her parents

Our Mindy was so very special. She was generous‚ upbeat and always ready to help. By utilizing a business degree‚ a fire science degree and a nursing degree‚ she was a real asset to her colleagues at San Francisco Fire Station 42. Mindy came to the San Francisco Fire Department in 1989‚ as one of the earlier women hired by the Department‚ and she was San Francisco’s first female firefighter to lose her life in the line of duty. Her colleagues have established the UFSW Mindy Ohler Scholarship Fund in her memory.

Mindy volunteered her time to work with children and was beloved by her colleagues and friends‚ who noted her professionalism and positive attitude‚ on the job and off. She worked very hard so she could enjoy the pleasure of traveling with her family and friends. She loved to ski and swim‚ and many of her trips were to destinations which made these two interests available.

She had a soft spot for animals and her joy was her white Lab‚ Brook. Mindy was a very loving and giving daughter‚ sister‚ aunt and friend‚ and she is greatly missed by all who knew her.

Donald Schreckengast

There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.

Richard A. Long

Richard A. Long

Submitted by his sister

Richard A. Long‚ 56‚ a devoted husband‚ father‚ grandfather‚ son‚ brother‚ and spirited fire fighter died on Thursday‚ April 3‚ 2003‚ in a fire truck accident.

Mr. Long was a retired employee of M&G Polymers‚ having also worked for Goodyear & Shell. He was a graduate of Gallia Academy High School.

He was a member of the Gallipolis Fire Department for 32 years‚ and the Loyal Order of the Moose No. 731 in Point Pleasant‚ West Virginia. He was a Vietnam Veteran and enjoyed hunting and golfing.

The following poem was written by a fellow fire fighter and sums up how everyone felt about Richard.

In Memory of Unit #612

God has given this to me‚ for #612 Richard Long‚
A friend from childhood‚ a firefighter so strong‚
Always giving the fire chief time off or relief‚
Unit #612 was known as our station chief!

Knowing that his death is very hard on us‚
Quoting the Lord’s Prayer‚ was a must‚
With a fellow fireman‚ in God he had Trust‚
In heaven we’ll meet someday‚ unit #612 a must!

Things are hard losing our fellow member‚
Leaving us with laughter‚ and runs to remember‚
Fighting a fire‚ setting station was his special chore‚
Memories left behind and much‚ much more.

Many tears have been shed by many standing tall‚
A cry out of why‚ but our unit #612 did fall‚
In memory of Richard Long‚ one of our best‚
May God give all peace in our hearts‚ as we lay our Unit #612 to rest!

May God watch over his family and friends‚
Trusting in God till life ends!
868-612’s OK.

Faron Haas O’Quin

Faron Haas O'Quin

Submitted by his family

Faron O’Quin was the heart of his family‚ friends and his fire department. He died on March 15‚ 2003‚ while working at the scene of an accident. All miss him‚ but his memory lives on.

Faron was a 15-year member of the Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department. He was also a founding member of the fire department. His long and tireless devotion to the fire department will forever be remembered.

Faron’s supervisor‚ Dwayne of Alexandria Coca-Cola‚ remembers him for his consistency in maintaining the status of ‘Employee of the Month.’ He said‚ ‘I wish all my employees were like Faron.’

Jared Foreman‚ current Fire Chief‚ remembers Faron by say ‘O’Quin will be sadly missed by both the communities of Lone Pine and Bunkie.’

During an April memorial in his honor‚ held at the truck stop where he was killed‚ a 1‚000 pound memorial of black marble was unveiled. The fire department also dedicated a new fire truck in his memory. Also presented to the family at the memorial‚ by Senator Don Hines‚ Senate Resolution 63 that extends condolences to the family. U.S. Congressman Rodney Alexander presented the family with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol‚ and a letter from President George Bush offering his condolences to the family.

Faron left behind a wife of 26 years‚ Faye‚ daughter Paige and son Logan. He also leaves behind his mother‚ Lois Jean‚ sisters Sandy and Sarah‚ and brother Paul‚ and a host of other family members and friends.

Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith

Jim 'Smitty' Smith

Submitted by his family

Jim ‘Smitty’ Smith‚ age 62‚ died March 22‚ 2003‚ while fighting a fire at a residential structure in Troy‚ Indiana‚ where he and his wife resided. Jim was the shining light of our family; we still cannot believe he is gone. He was born and raised in Indianapolis until the age of nine. Then he moved and resided in Rockport‚ Indiana‚ a small community in the southern part of the state. After graduating from Tell City High School‚ he joined the United States Air Force and served his country for four years. During that assignment‚ he married his high school sweetheart‚ Sandy‚ and had two children‚ Westley and Julie. After his responsibilities in the Air Force were complete‚ he started his longtime career in the electronics and semi-conductor business. His successful career took him all over the world to some fascinating places. He and his family lived in various beautiful places in the United States‚ but despite this he and Sandy chose to return to retire in the small Indiana town of Troy.

Jim was well known and liked in the community where he served the Troy Volunteer Fire Department for seven years. Before his untimely death in March 2003‚ firefighting was his proudest accomplishment‚ sharing his excitement with anyone who would listen. He was also active in his local American Legion Post 213 where he was recently appointed the post of First Vice Chair. Jim was also involved in local government and fundraising activities that benefited everyone around him. His personal loves were his family‚ playing euchre‚ golfing and NASCAR racing. There is no doubt he is greatly missed by all who knew him. He always had an infectious smile and heartfelt warmth for those around him. He was an honest man who pulled no punches‚ but he was always fair.

Jim always made it clear to his family that we were his priority and we miss his love and guidance as well as his undeniable sense of humor. Together‚ Jim and Sandy made sure to demonstrate and teach the importance of family everyday. His soul mate of 42 years‚ Sandy‚ his son Westley and wife Nicoule‚ their two beautiful children Michelle and Sean‚ daughter Julie and husband Edward Caracappa along with brother Bill and his wife Judy‚ numerous nieces and nephews and his in-laws survive him. To his family‚ he died as he lived‚ our ever-present hero.

Richard Glenn ‘Rick’ Lupe

Submitted by his wife

Rick Lupe was the hero of his family‚ community‚ town and the state of Arizona. His legacy as a wonderful husband and father will live on with us forever. He sadly died on June 19‚ 2003‚ after he was burned in a prescribed burn that he was doing on a small reservation called Whiteriver‚ Arizona.

Rick was a 24-year firefighter veteran. He was 43 years old. He started as a cook helping his father at camps. When Fort Apache Hotshots orginally started he was on that crew. He was the supervisor of the Fort Apache Hotshots who were known as the ‘best of the best’ in the State of Arizona. He resigned out of hotshots then went into the Southwest Area Incident Management Team as a Division Supervisor (2001-2003)‚ so he could spend time with his family. He slowly made his way up to Fuels Management Specialist Supervisor.

He was a shy‚ but a very humble person. Where there is something he disagreed with he would state his mind. He loved doing what he was doing‚ fighting fire and he would say ‘I am only doing my job.’ Everybody in the town respected him as a dedicated‚ caring‚ intelligent‚ loving father and husband. He loved to hunt with his sons during hunting season and during fire season he put in long‚ weary hours and did not complain once. When he went hunting with his boys‚ they didn’t care if they didn’t get a kill – it was just being out in the woods with his sons‚ whey they enjoyed each other’s company.

He was so dedicated to me and I loved him so much with all my heart. He left so suddenly‚ he didn’t tell my heart how I was supposed to feel. My name is Evey‚ his wife of 21 years. Our sons are: Sean 21‚ Daniel 18‚ and Brent 11. We never stop talking about him. Every day his name comes up. We do miss him a lot in our own special ways. The boys were the special gift he gave me and I am so lucky to have spent 21 years with a man that I cherished and devoted all my love and life to. There are days when I think he’s out on a fire and he should be back soon. Then reality sets in and I break down again. Five brothers and two sisters survive him who were also close to his heart.

He was 2003 Firefighter of the Year and also named Employee of the Year in 2002 and 2003. He was recognized by President George W. Bush. Rick was also considered a ‘Hero’ during the Rodeo-Chediski Fire‚ the largest fire in the state of Arizona.

The Rick Lupe Forestry Scholarship and the Rick Lupe Arizona State Fire School were established. There are several more scholarships and honors in his name. He was not a spotlight person. He always hid from publicity. Like I said‚ ‘He was only doing his job.’

We know he would be amazed at the outgoing of tributes‚ acknowledgements‚ honors. recognition and publicity he has received. We are amazed and so proud of him. He will never be forgotten. We will live on and he will always be ‘Our Hero.’