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  • Writer's pictureRome Fire Dept. Staff

Founding Member Receives Distinguished Service Award

ROME TOWNSHIP, OH - The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshal and the Ohio Department of Public Safety Division of EMS awarded the fire service’s highest honors to firefighters and fire officers during the state’s 37th annual Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame & Fire Awards ceremony on Thursday, September 21st at The Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. The Ohio Fire Service Hall of Fame & Fire Awards ceremony exemplifies the bravery, commitment and the sacrifice that Ohio’s fire personnel make on behalf of the communities they serve each and every day.

Of the recipients, late founding member James “Jim” McCloud of the Rome Volunteer Fire Department was honored with the Ohio Fire Service Distinguished Service Award. This award is conferred on outstanding individuals whose contributions to and leadership of the fire service within the state of Ohio have been a milestone in the development of those services; whose actions have served not just their community, but have contributed significantly to the fire service on a regional, statewide and/or national basis; and, whose leadership and accomplishments in these areas are widely recognized and respected in the Ohio fire service.

Firefighter McCloud passed away at age 91 on March 22nd, 2017 after a brief illness. In attendance to accept the award on his behalf were his daughter, Linda M. Huffman, Rome Volunteer Fire Department Chief George Barnett, and staff members of the department.

“It’s a bitter-sweet day for our department and the community.” said Chief Barnett. “Jim’s work ethic and commitment to our organization will continue to be inspiration for all of us.”

During Jim’s tenure at Rome Fire Department he served in many capacities including deputy chief, captain, vice president, and treasurer. Before serving the citizens of Rome Township, Jim served his nation in the United States Army including service during World War II and was a Purple Heart recipient. He also served as

treasurer of the Lawrence County Firefighter's Association since its inception in 1972.

Jim was laid to rest next to his fellow veterans in the Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia.

Jim's daughter Linda, with staff members of the department after the award ceremony.

Photo Credit: Ohio Department of Commerce

Jim McCloud before the crowning of the 2016 Fairland Homecoming Fire Queen.

Photo Credit: Nick Kuhn/Rome Fire Dept.

### The Rome Volunteer Fire Department, established in 1962, is comprised of 25 members serving the citizens of Rome Township and the Village of Athalia. Lead by Chief George Barnett, the department serves a 36 square-mile area and responds to an average of 350 calls per year. Rome Fire Department shares mutual aid agreements with neighboring fire departments in Lawrence & Gallia counties in Ohio and Cabell County, West Virginia.

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