“I want to make this clear,” said Mike Scott, a member of the Firebrick and Lloyd Volunteer Fire Department in Firebrick, Ky. “He went out helping somebody else in the line of duty.”
Scott was referring to long time Firebrick volunteer Firefighter Ronald Helton, 64, of South Shore, Ky., who passed away Oct. 29, one day after suffering a cardiac arrest at the scene of a serious car accident in which a car had flipped over, and firefighters had to extricate victims from inside the vehicle. Scott stated Helton was setting up traffic control at the time he experienced what turned out to be a fatal heart attack.
Scott noted Helton spent 46 years, nearly half a century, as a volunteer firefighter in one department or another. He spent 35 years with the South Shore Volunteer Fire Department before moving over to the Firebrick department. In Firebrick, Helton also served as a trustee for the department. Helton also served as a long-time fire instructor in Kentucky.
“He dedicated his life to helping others,” Scott said. “He was also just one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to help someone.”
Funeral services were held Monday at the Roberson Funeral Home in South Shore. Burial followed at Siloam Cemetery. Scott noted Helton’s funeral procession included firefighters from all over Kentucky and also southern Ohio. The procession stretched for over a mile and a half, Scott added.
“I’d actually liked it to have been longer, he deserved it.” Scott said.
A brief post on the Firebrick Fire Department Facebook page thanked Helton for his service.
“Rest easy, Ron. We got it from here,” wrote Firebrick Chief Russ Gilliam.
Gilliam could not be reached directly for further comment.
Helton is survived by, Rita, his wife of 25 years, son Matthew of South Shore, daughter Katherine Purtee and her husband Josh of Catlettsburg, KY., six aunts Mary, Ruth, Sue, Kay, Pam and Hazel.