Jeff Phipps

Jeff Phipps

Battalion Chief Lawrence J. Phipps Sr., age 50, of the Hanover County Fire and EMS died on July 18, 2021, from complications of cancer.

Christopher G. Griffin

Christopher G. Griffin

Firefighter Christopher G. Griffin, age 50, of Norfolk Fire-Rescue died on October 1, 2021, from complications of cancer.

Henry John Neyhouse

Henry John Neyhouse

John passed away on August 29, 2019, after a two-year battle with 9/11-related cancer.

John joined the Occoquan, Woodbridge, Lorton Volunteer Fire Department (OWL) in 1979, at age 18. He became an active member, beginning a lifelong journey with OWL and pointing him toward his professional career as a firefighter. At OWL, he served as a firefighter, EMT, driver/operator, fire sergeant, fire lieutenant, board member, and station vice president. He attained Life Member status in 1999 and was respected as the classic “crusty” senior man, a firefighter’s firefighter. In 1998, he received the prestigious Betty Limerick Award for extended service to the department.

Active in IAFF Local 3217, John stood up not only for his own convictions, but shoulder to shoulder for his fellow union brethren when he saw injustices being perpetrated. He was a true leader in every sense of the word.

John began his career as a firefighter on July 8, 1985, with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority at Washington Dulles International Airport. John quickly adapted to his role as a firefighter/EMT while establishing heartfelt friendships with his shift coworkers. His skill set and abilities were recognized by his peers and supervisors. John never shied away from the challenges of the job. He was at the forefront of many incidents, with his aggressive approach in mitigating the situation.

John’s largest attributes were his caring personality towards his coworkers and his ability to train others. He prided himself on working with new employees on probationary development and career advancement. He had a strong knowledge of airport operations, aircraft, aircraft firefighting, and apparatus operations. John had the personality to get the best out of an individual through training and everyday discussions. He was promoted to technician and served as a team leader and shift trainer. He developed training programs and implemented new Heavy Tactical Rescue (HTR) techniques, oversaw the development of new personnel, and mentored team members in managing and mitigating these types of incidents. John was promoted and excelled in the position of shift commander support technician. His attention to detail, daily staffing, apparatus movement, and emergency incident management made him the standard for others to follow.

John loved and enjoyed the fire service and was respected and loved by his coworkers and supervisors. He was respectful and kind, strong tempered and opinionated when needed, but he delivered those emotions in a caring way. John was a mentor, a brother, a friend to all, and loved by so many.

Charles C. “Dog” Woods

Charles C. "Dog" Woods

Charles and Missy were married for 35 years. He has two sons, Jimmy Sheets and Zackery Woods.

For as long as I’ve known him, he always wanted to be a firefighter. He joined Adwolfe Volunteer Fire Department in November 1986 as a Firefighter I and later served as an EMT and the vice president of the department. He was very passionate about devoting his extra time to his fire department. He was also a volunteer EMT for 25 years with Marion Volunteer Lifesaving Crew.

Charles did volunteer work with the Marion Little League when our son Zack was playing ball. He was also a coach and worked on the Little League board. Later, when Zack was a Boy Scout, Charles was a pack leader and helped Zack with his Eagle Scout project. Sponsored by the fire department, they put smoke detectors in homes in the community that needed them.

Charles was the type of person who never met a stranger. Whenever we would go somewhere, whether it was on vacation or just a day trip, if we happened to come upon a wreck, we would always stop to help. We would also visit fire departments—from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Dade City, Florida. He liked to visit to see if they had any new equipment that might benefit his department when he returned home. He purchased T-shirts and collected challenge coins from other departments.

Charles was always there for his family and friends in any situation. All you had to do was call, and he’d be there. He never asked anyone for anything and didn’t ask for credit for what he did. He received the Valor of Honor in December 2019 and didn’t feel like he deserved it. He just said it’s what he was trained to do.

In addition to his work as a volunteer firefighter/EMT, Charles did great carpentry work, from building Food Lion in Marion to working with Hayes Carpet laying floors for several years. After that, he was self-employed before starting to work as a maintenance man at Park Terrace Apartments in Marion, Virginia, for 16 years.

He was a very devoted father, husband, big brother, and friend. Even after his death, he was still giving by being an organ donor.

Darrell C. Hamlett

Darrell C. Hamlett

Darrell was hired on October 31, 1996, by the Lynchburg Fire Department, where he served for 20 years. He began his firefighting career at the early age of 16 as a volunteer firefighter. Like many of us, it was during the early years as a volunteer where he began to understand the satisfaction that came from being a public servant. His commitment to community and service is what led him to the Lynchburg Fire Department and ultimately the rank of captain. As a 20-year veteran, Darrell had both the life experience and job skills necessary to be a positive role model, friend, and leader to the many people he encountered. This remained evident through his self-performance appraisal that was completed the spring before his untimely passing, where he documented his goal for the next three years was, “to continue to guide and provide the leadership to employees working under me to have a positive impact to their own career development and professional goals.”

Darrell’s biggest love was nature. His passion was deer and turkey hunting, which he started at a young age with his father and grandfather, a tradition he later carried to his son. Darrell was known for his commitment to his family, along with his steady and consistent work ethic throughout his career, no matter where he was assigned or what task he was given. He understood that the assignment didn’t make the employee; what made an employee was the exposure to strong, knowledgeable colleagues and an environment that was structured and positive with collaboration amongst peers.

Darrell is survived by his wife, Kathy Hamlett; children, Craig and Lacy Hamlett; grandchild, Paislee Rena Hamlett; parents, Earnest and Linda Hamlett; sisters, Debra Staton (Barry) and Mandy Hamlett; brother, Rodney Hamlett (Tammy); father and mother-in-law, Jack and Becky Lacy; brother-in-law, David Cyrus (Gwen); and sister-in-law, Vickie Martin (Butch).

Herbert T. “Butch” Wilcox

Herbert T. “Butch” Wilcox

Firefighter Herbert T. Wilcox, age 77, of the Rocky Mount Fire Department, died on April 19, 2018, after being found unresponsive at his residence within 24-hours of responding to multiple calls.

Dennis Lynn Brent

Dennis Lynn Brent

Firefighter Dennis L. Brent, age 56, of the Charlottesville Fire Department, died on December 1, 2018, of pancreatic cancer deemed to be related to his 17-year career as a firefighter.

Anthony R. Whetzel

Anthony R. Whetzel

Captain Anthony R. Whetzel, age 33, of the Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, died on September 15, 2018, from colon cancer that was deemed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to be a line-of-duty death, related to his career as a firefighter.

James Pierce Kegley Jr.

James Pierce Kegley Jr.

Lieutenant James P. Kegley Jr., age 48, of the Hanover County Fire and EMS, died on January 11, 2018, from Chronic Obstructive/Restrictive Lung Disease that was deemed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to be a line-of-duty death, related to his career as a firefighter.

William H. Moore IV

William H. Moore IV

Firefighter William H. Moore IV, age 48, of the Amelia Courthouse Volunteer Fire Department, died on June 14, 2018, after suffering a fatal heart attack while participating in a department training exercise.