FLORENCE — Area firefighters now have a place at the courthouse to remember a fallen comrade.
In July, a Lauderdale County volunteer firefighter was killed.
“It’s something that you can’t help but think about every time you go on a call,” said Adam McCanless, fire chief of the Underwood-Petersville Volunteer Fire Department and president of the Lauderdale County Volunteer Firefighters Association.
Beth Childers, 42, a member of the Anderson Volunteer Fire Department, died inside her home July 11, as she helped her husband get her grandson and daughter out of the burning house.
Childers passed the couple’s 2-year-old grandson through a bedroom window just before a part of the house collapsed, trapping her inside.
To honor Childers and any other county volunteer firefighter who dies in the line of duty, the local volunteer association unveiled a memorial plaque at Saturday’s night annual association banquet.
McCanless recently met with the Lauderdale County Commission in a work session to discuss the possibility of the memorial plaque being placed in the hallway on the ground floor of the courthouse.
“It’s an effort to honor those firefighters who give the ultimate sacrifice of themselves for another,” McCanless said.
Commissioners authorized County Administrator Brenda Bryant to work with McCanless to hang the plaque in the hallway between the security entrance and the courthouse elevators.
McCanless said members of the association have been talking about honoring Childers since her death.
“We didn’t have any way to honor those who had given their life in the line of duty,” McCanless said.
“We hope we never have to use (the plaque again). But having it permanently placed in the hallway, everyone who goes into the courthouse will have a chance to see it and pay respects.”
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.