Martins Ferry Volunteer Firefighter Monument being prepped

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON JUSTIN GALLAGHER sand blasts a new name into the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department’s memorial at City Park on Monday.

MARTINS FERRY — The Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department is getting ready to memorialize three of its former members who have died.

On Monday, Randall L. Gallagher Memorials Inc. of St. Clairsville donated time and materials to inscribe three names on the department’s memorial located at City Park. Justin Gallagher sand blasted three former firefighters’ names into the large granite piece. They are Terry Greer Sr., who died in 2018 and worked at the Liberty Station; Jim Holland, who died in 2018, of the Vigilant Station; and Dave Cuddihy, who volunteered with the Alerts Station.

Martins Ferry VFD Chief Mike Cooper said he is grateful to Gallagher for donating his time and work to add the names. He was assisted by Raymond Purtiman.

“He does this out of the goodness of his heart. He doesn’t even charge us,” Cooper said.

Gallagher also cleaned the monument last year. After he removed the old dirt and grime, the monument looks brand new. It now has about 456 names on it.

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON JUSTIN GALLAGHER, left, poses in front of the Martins Ferry Volunteer Fire Department memorial with Fire Chief Mike Cooper on Monday.

The three firefighters will first be memorialized during a service set for 10:30 a.m. May 5 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Martins Ferry.

Immediately following the church service, another service with members of the department will be held at the memorial at City Park.

The Rev. William Webster, Grace’s pastor, is expected to speak at the park as well. The public is welcome to attend both services.

Cooper said memorializing the former firefighters is important to the department.

“These guys paved the way for us to be firefighters. They are our heroes,” Cooper said.

Gallagher said he was glad to help, noting he also sometimes cleans war memorials in the area. Each side of the fire department’s memorial is dedicated to each station: the Alerts, the Vigilants, Liberty, and Hook and Ladder.

Around the bottom of the memorial an inscription states: “In memory of the Martins Ferry firemen who answered their final alarm. Dedicated by friends.”