December 17 , 2020 The Beacon • 5
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First responders from around the county honored Keith Luce with a parade on Dec . 9 . Luce passed away the day after the event .
First responders honor Luce prior to his passing
By Josie Sellers
Emergency personnel don ’ t just work together .
“ We run together , play together and grieve together ,” said Ken Posey , who worked with the late Keith Luce , a former firefighter and EMS director in Coshocton .
Posey coordinated with all the emergency departments in the community to help fulfill a wish for Luce before he passed away on Dec . 10 .
“ We do whatever we can for each other ,” Posey said . “ He said he ’ d like to see a fire truck one last time . I started working on this at 7:30 last night . By 8:30 it was solidified , and by 9 we decided it would be at 4 . Not one person questioned it . They all said heck yeah we will be there .”
A vehicle from each fire department , EMS vehicles and sheriff ’ s office cruisers drove past Luce ’ s house on Dec . 9 . Sirens blared , and waves and salutes were shared while Luce watched from inside his home .
“ When one of us falls , one of us hurts , we all come together ,” Posey said .
Rick Cosmar , assistant chief of operations at Coshocton County EMS , helped make sure Luce was able to see the parade of vehicles . Luce was director when Cosmar first became an EMT , and he also took classes taught by him .
“ Keith expected you to know your job ,” Cosmar said . “ Incompetence was not an option with him . He was not the type to embarrass you , though , if you did make a mistake .”
Posey agreed with him .
“( Luce ) would tell you we ’ d talk about it later , and he meant much later ,” Posey said . “ He was a very good man to work for .”
In addition to being a firefighter and working for EMS , Luce also was a veteran of the Vietnam War , having served in the United States Army with the 173rd Airborne .
He taught fire services to high school students at the Delaware Ohio Career Center from 1995 until his retirement in 2008 and played a role in getting a medical helicopter stationed in Coshocton County .
“( Dad ) was the guy you wanted if you had a tough rescue ,” Luce ’ s son Sean said . “ His bread and butter was rescue stuff . People would call for Coshocton fire knowing he was on duty .”
Like his father , Sean also is a first responder . “ He taught me ,” he said . “ I grew up in the fire house from the time I was very little . As I ’ ve gotten older , his friends from back in his fire-service days I also consider my friends .”
Sean was honored by what the Coshocton first responder community put together for his dad prior to his passing .
“ He definitely deserved this ,” Sean said . “ He always gave so much of himself .”
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