Three generations proudly serving the community


By Darian Gillette - [email protected]



Justin, Emma, and Miles Horsley (L-R) have continued the family tradition of being firefighters at the Rubyville Volunteer Fire Department.

Justin, Emma, and Miles Horsley (L-R) have continued the family tradition of being firefighters at the Rubyville Volunteer Fire Department.


Submitted photo

RUBYVILLE — One Rubyville resident began as a volunteer firefighter 47 years ago — a tradition which has now become three generations of firefighters in the Horsley family.

Grandfather Miles Horsley, son Justin Horsley, and granddaughter Emma Horsley are all firefighters at Rubyville Volunteer Fire Department.

“I grew up here in Rubyville as a kid and next door was the Assistant Fire Chief and I would watch him go out on calls, see the fire trucks go by, and just kind of got interested in doing it,” said Miles Horsley, Fire Chief. “He talked me into joining the Junior Fireman and I just went from there, it just felt like it was my thing to do.”

Miles said he feels he inspired his son and granddaughter to become firefighters.

“I would say I have because it’s always been a part of their life growing up because of me being involved and I think that had a lot to do with it,” said Miles. “It’s a great thing being able to work with my son and granddaughter.”

Justin Horsley has been with the Fire Department since 1995.

“My father was a huge influence in becoming a firefighter, he was always, and has continued, helping others and as most children you want to be what your parents teach you to be,” said Justin Horsley, Assistant Fire Chief.

Justin said he was able to join at the age of 13 due to the junior fireman program coming back.

“After Christmas of 1993, the fire chief, Jess Sparks, came to us that helped and said he had a surprise for us, they were going to start the junior firefighter program back up,” said Justin. “I signed up as a junior firefighter at the age of 13 in 1994 and immediately acquired my state certification after high school graduation.”

Justin said being able to serve with his family makes getting called out easier.

“Emergency calls are at all times of the night and day which pulls you away from family time, it’s not easy to leave the dinner table with my wife and daughters or family gatherings but to be able to serve with my dad and now oldest daughter helps with that,” said Justin. “I appreciate the support of my wife and daughters, I couldn’t do what I do without my family making sacrifices.”

Justin said he is proud of his daughter, Emma, for wanting to step up and serve.

“I saw the passion that they have for volunteering. No days off, they have left during birthdays, dinners, holidays, when the weather is the worst that’s when they are needed most,” said Emma Horsley, Junior Firefighter. “I love that and I want to be that person that helps in time of need just like them.”

Emma has been a junior firefighter since 2017 and will begin official training in July to become a firefighter.

“I can attend meetings, participate in department training, perform station duties, be on emergency scenes as an observer,” said Emma. “When I am 18 and acquire state certification I can participate with the duties on emergency scenes.”

Emma said serving others is in their blood.

“They have given their entire lives to serving Clay township,” said Emma. “My dad is now a trustees for clay, my aunt is a paramedic so serving others is in our blood.”

Miles said he encourages others to volunteer in their community.

“One of the biggest things I’ve seen change over the years is when I joined we were allowed to have 40 members on the roster and eight junior firefighters and there was a waiting list for that,” said Miles. “The equipment wasn’t very good but we had plenty of man power but now it’s the other way around.”

Miles said for anyone interested in volunteering to contact their local fire department.

“If you’re on a volunteer basis it just involves a 36 hour basic firefighting class or as an EMT or first responder it requires around 30 hours of training also and from there they can work their way up,” said Miles. “It’s pretty rewarding sometimes and there’s a big need county and state wide.”

Justin, Emma, and Miles Horsley (L-R) have continued the family tradition of being firefighters at the Rubyville Volunteer Fire Department.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/01/web1_IMG_0081.jpgJustin, Emma, and Miles Horsley (L-R) have continued the family tradition of being firefighters at the Rubyville Volunteer Fire Department. Submitted photo

By Darian Gillette

[email protected]

Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Darian Gillette at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931, or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved