PORTSMOUTH — First responders, friends and family slowly made their way down US 52 to lay to rest Portsmouth firefighter and EMT Edward Long.
Long, a firefighter at the Portsmouth Fire Department died in the Line of Duty March 22. Long was serving as Engine 2 Engineer when he became unresponsive while returning from a call. Despite the best efforts of his crew and the staff at SOMC Emergency Department, Long died at 11:30 a.m.
Over the weekend, family, friends and first responders gathered in Portsmouth to celebrate Long’s life and say their final goodbyes to the longtime firefighter and EMT.
“By all accounts, Ed was an excellent driver/Engineer. No one knew his truck as well as he did. No one took care of this truck as well as he did,” The Portsmouth Fire Department posted to their Facebook page. “Ed also was known as quite the storyteller, especially the length of his stories and the enthusiasm with which he told them.”
On Sunday at Shawnee State University, family and friends attended a service for Long and made their way to Franklin Furnace in a procession filled with first responder vehicles of fire departments from across the state.
In honor of the life and legacy of Long, Governor DeWine ordered that flags of the United States and the State of Ohio be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout Scioto County, the Ohio Statehouse, the Vern Riffe Center, and the Rhodes State Office Tower.
Long joined the Portsmouth Fire Department March 17, 1995 and served 27 years as a firefighter/EMT. Long had also served as a Special Deputy with the Scioto County Sherriff’s Office, having received his commission in July 1986. A member of St. John Lutheran Church, Long was a third Degree Mason with the Western Sun Masonic Lodge and a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged as a 1LT. He was also a member of the International Association of firefighters.
“Ed loved and spoke often of his family. It was rare to see Ed out and about without one or all of his kids in tow,” the department said.
Long was an active Boy Scouts of America volunteer and served as the Pack master and Troop master of the former Troop 37, helping many young men realize their dreams of earning the rank of Eagle Scout. The troop recently merged with Troop 12 and Long continued his hard work with that troop.
“As much as we hurt right now, we can only imagine the pain his family is feeling. We ask that you keep his family and all that knew and loved him in your thoughts and prayers in the difficult days ahead,” The Portsmouth Fire Department posted.