The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Breaking News

Latest News

May 4, 2013

State fire marshal Sterling Lewis retires

— After 13 years of overseeing fire safety and the departments that provide West Virginians a measure of security, Sterling Lewis has retired as the state marshal.

A Raleigh County native, Lewis put in his time as a firefighter, ultimately serving as chief for many years of the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department.

Before becoming state marshal, he was a teacher and football coach at Shady Spring High School.

“He was very aggressive,” his chief deputy and interim marshal Anthony Carrico said Friday.

“I think he did some good things. I think one of his crowning achievements was probably the fire services division, which basically was implemented to help assist fire departments with complying with regulations of the state Fire Commission.”

Lewis was a frequent speaker when called before legislative interims committees in recent years to discuss issues that affected fire safety and prevention.

As marshal, his jurisdiction embraced some 11 full-time paid departments and 417 volunteer ones.

“I won’t call him a micro-manager, but he was very hands on,” Carrico.

“He liked to know what all these people were doing at all times.”

Carrico said Lewis played an instrumental role in getting training upgraded for all firefighters across the state.

“He had a very big part in that,” Carrico said.

“I’d say the training is always evolving and improving. In conjunction with the Fire Commission, we’ve done a lot for services as a whole.”

Volunteer firefighters played a role in the year’s special legislative session when lawmakers approved — and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed — HB103 that provides money for the units to meet workers’ compensation premiums.

Many departments have struggled since the premiums went up dramatically the past two years.

Now, the volunteers are eligible to apply for assistance in making those insurance payments through a special fund.

Carrico said his former boss at the marshal’s office was “pretty easy going” but firm in running the agency.

“He expected his people to do their jobs,” he said.

“I think he was quite proud of the job that the office did and the people that did the work.”

Carrico has invested 21 years with the agency, and spent the last 13 as Lewis’ chief deputy the entire tenure that he was marshal.

As for choosing a permanent successor, Carrico said the 13-member Fire Commission is already in deliberations.

“I understand Chairman Bob Sullivan is going to take time to review the candidates and do this right,” added Carrico, who spent two decades as a member of the Madison VFD in Boone County.

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • twv twins One Hatfield, two actors

    If you shake hands with the cast and crew at Theatre West Virginia after the show, don’t worry if you think you’re seeing double.
    Jacob and James Cline, 12-year-old twins, are a part of the team this year, assisting  with props and portraying Little Troy Hatfield.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Construction begins on Meadow River Rail Trail

    Construction has finally begun on the Meadow River Rail Trail, a recreation project undertaken in a unique partnership between Greenbrier and Fayette counties.

    July 25, 2014

  • AARP reps talk future of Social Security

    The future of Social Security was on the menu at a listening session staged Thursday by AARP West Virginia at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

    July 25, 2014

  • Juvenile petitions sought against teens in Mount Hope B&Es

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two Page-area teens after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into early Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • US issues 186 mining citations in June

    The Mine Safety and Health Administration says inspectors issued 186 citations at 13 U.S. mining operations in June.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed after Dirty Girl Run canceled

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn't be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • Juveniles caught after breaking and entering in Fayette

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two teens from the Page area after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into.

    July 24, 2014

  • Saints arrive 1 Saints march into ‘Almost Heaven, W.Va.’

    At 3:54 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the New Orleans Saints’ chartered flight touched the ground at the Greenbrier Valley Airport, and Greenbrier County officially became “Who Dat?” Country. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Broadband panel eyes access to rural areas

    The West Virginia Broadband Deployment Council met far outside its typical Charleston venue Wednesday to hear issues about Internet speeds in some of the state’s most rural regions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lewisburg official says fuel spill contained, drinking water safe

    Lewisburg’s public works director is confident that a Tuesday afternoon fuel spill 60 miles upriver from the city water system’s intake has been contained and the water is safe to drink.

    July 24, 2014