The Coshocton County Beacon December 31, 2020 - Page 5

December 31 , 2020 The Beacon • 5

Stories show appreciation for first responders

By Josie Sellers
TheCoshoctonBeaconToday . com

Every now and then there are stories that warm your heart while also bringing tears to your eyes . For me those stories this year were both about firefighters .

Sixty-two years ago , Ernie Norris decided he needed a little excitement in his life , so he joined the fire department . He was honored for those years of service this December when he retired at the age of 90 from the Walhonding Valley Fire District .
Norris was very humble about his time with the fire department . He did the job because he enjoyed it and liked hanging out with the guys .
What impressed me the most was the reverence everyone showed toward Norris . Everyone did what
they could to help make our interview and pictures happen . Those who were asked were more than willing to share stories of their time with Norris too .
The other story that impacted me this year was about the late Keith Luce , a former firefighter and EMS director in Coshocton . He also was a Vietnam veteran , which gave his story an extra special place in my heart .
Luce passed away on Dec . 10 , but the day before his friends made it possible for him to see a fire truck one last time . Actually , it was more of
a parade of emergency vehicles from departments throughout the county .
Ken Posey , a friend and former co-worker of Luce , made it clear emergency responders don ’ t just work together . They also run together , play together and grieve together . Posey coordinated the parade , and another friend , Rick Cosmar , assistant chief of operations at Coshocton County EMS , made sure Luce was able to see the trucks from inside his home .
Both Posey and Cosmar were honored to have worked with Luce . Hearing their stories brought tears to my eyes and confirmed the tight bond between those in the profession .
Thank you to all the emergency responders out there . 2020 wasn ’ t an easy year for any of you . Your dedication to the job is deeply appreciated .
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