WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Huntington Fire Department Dedicates Boat In Honor Of Fallen Firefighters

Reported: May. 22, 2014 4:37 PM EDT
Updated: May. 23, 2014 5:03 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

HUNTINGTON, W.V.a. (Darrah Wilcox) -- Lt. Leonard Hartz's family has many fond memories of their loved one.

"My dad was a WWII veteran serving in the Coast Guard. He also played French horn in the Huntington Symphony, and he also taught music on his days off," his son, Maurice Hartz, said.

The legacy the former firefighter is most remembered for -- he died a hero. Sixty-six years ago today, he and Firefighter William Earnest Booth both died trying to rescue three drowning children along the Ohio River.

On Thursday, a boat was dedicated in honor of those firefighters who died in the line of duty. Investigators at the time said the men died because of lack of proper equipment.

"This boat right here goes a long way in preventing something like that from ever happening again," Huntington Fire Chief Carl Eastham said.

The name is the Hartz-Booth Memorial Vessel.

"It has been overwhelming, and to think today is finally here," Maurice Hartz said. "This has helped add a little bit more closure to what happened when I was 19 months old."

It's the first first-class vessel for the department, and is funded by a $569,000 federal port security grant.

The fire-fighting boat can pump water right out of the river for incidents on the water or near the shore, and if there is ever a major water line break similar to what happened in Ashland recently, fire service would not be affected.

"We would be able to sit the boat in the water and pump water to a fire engine from the river," Eastham said.

That is not all it can do.

"A lot of people don't know that there's 26 million tons of hazardous materials that goes right through the port of Huntington and we've got to have ways of protecting that," Eastham said.

The 36-foot vessel is also equipped with a dual ventilation system, air-lock entries and positive cabin air pressurization that could provide a toxic-free area in an emergency. There also is a dive and rescue door for water rescues, chemical warfare agent detectors, GPS-enhanced radar and marine thermal imaging equipment, a Forward Looking Infrared camera to help search crews better detect a lost person's heat signature and an on-board radio system with multi-agency capabilities.

Maurice Hartz followed in his father's footsteps.

"I always hung out around the fire station, chased the firetrucks, so apparently I had smoke in my blood from a very early age, and I still have have it. So it was very influential," he said.

He retired from the Huntington Fire Dept after 21 years, and said he is proud to help keep his dad's legacy alive. He said any time something helps preserve a memory and keeps a tradition alive, keeps on going, it's a good day.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
WVAH To Air Sports Specials Sunday
News
Aug. 22, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
If you’re looking for a sports Sunday, tune into WVAH-TV ...
Full News Story

Pre-Season Edition Of First In Ten To Air Saturday
News
Aug. 22, 2014 9:05 PM EDT
With helmets secure, shoulder pads snug, and a fresh ...
Full News Story

Severe Weather Causes Major Traffic Delays In Huntington
News
Aug. 22, 2014 8:11 PM EDT
City officials said the First Street viaduct is clear, ...
Full News Story


News PSC Board Says Planning Info Needed In WV Spill Probe
Aug. 22, 2014 8:35 PM EDT
News Manhunt Heats Up For Jackson County Bank Robber
Aug. 22, 2014 6:12 PM EDT
News Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For St. Albans Murder
Aug. 22, 2014 6:43 PM EDT
News WV To Study Fish Life In River After Chemical Spill
Aug. 22, 2014 4:47 PM EDT
News Hearing Board Recommends WV Judge Suspension
Aug. 22, 2014 8:16 PM EDT
News 2.2 Million Bean Bag Chairs Recalled After Deaths
Aug. 22, 2014 8:01 PM EDT
News Huntington Father Charged With Child Neglect
Aug. 22, 2014 8:18 PM EDT
News Man Hit, Killed By Train In Southern WV
Aug. 22, 2014 6:47 PM EDT
News Flash Flood Watch Issued For Multiple Counties In WV, KY And OH
Aug. 22, 2014 3:08 PM EDT
News Two West Virginia Greats To Liven The Stage At Live On The Levee
Aug. 22, 2014 6:47 PM EDT
News Virginia Street Underpass In Charleston's West Side Closed Until Further Notice
Aug. 22, 2014 1:39 PM EDT
News About 2,000 Show For MU's Freshman Convocation
Aug. 22, 2014 1:03 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Meth Lab Found During Traffic Stop
Aug. 22, 2014 12:58 PM EDT
News Pair Facing Charges After Deputies Say Drugs Found Hidden Among Unusual Items
Aug. 22, 2014 12:51 PM EDT
News Deputies Say Man Charged Following Stabbing
Aug. 22, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
News Driver Arrested After "Improvised Explosive" Found In His Wrecked SUV
Aug. 22, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
News Woman Sues McDonald's, Claims Tea Was Tainted
Aug. 22, 2014 1:25 PM EDT
News Logan Soul Singer Honored With ABSSA Hall Of Fame Induction
Aug. 21, 2014 11:21 PM EDT
News Jackson County Schools Respond To Emergency
Aug. 21, 2014 10:42 PM EDT
News DEA Raises Prescription Drug Security
Aug. 21, 2014 11:12 PM EDT
News Man Fled from Police; Crusier Involved Accident
Aug. 21, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
News Return Of Marshall Students Brings In Business Boom
Aug. 21, 2014 8:07 PM EDT
News Captial City Turns Kelly Green For MU Pep Rally
Aug. 21, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News WV Agency Gets $560K In Mine Safety Funding
Aug. 21, 2014 6:00 PM EDT
News Neighborhood Planning Kanawha City Meeting To Address Crime
Aug. 21, 2014 6:07 PM EDT
News Heroes And Handcuffs Baseball Game Set For Saturday
Aug. 21, 2014 8:27 PM EDT
News Search Still On For Suspect Accused Of Robbing Jackson County Bank
Aug. 21, 2014 6:12 PM EDT
News Students Celebrate Harvest Time At The Clay Center
Aug. 21, 2014 8:13 PM EDT
News Getaway Driver In West Side Murder Gets Second Chance
Aug. 21, 2014 4:00 PM EDT
News Flags Lowered In Honor Of Former WV Lawmaker
Aug. 21, 2014 3:34 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Founder of closed W.Va. boarding school charged

A prosecutor says the founder of a closed boarding school in Harrison County has been arrested following an investigation into the alleged abuse of students.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Political parties file complaints in Senate race

Kentucky's bitter U.S. Senate race has turned more combative, with both state parties filing dueling complaints against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Full Story

Ohio News
Fire damages Ohio grain elevator; no injuries

Fire at a grain elevator in suburban Cincinnati has caused heavy damage. No injuries were reported.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.