About The Foundation

This NCFFF is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, more specifically to lead the effort to remember North Carolina ’s fallen firefighters and.... read more
Jun
30

Firefighter Richard Adam Miller of Belmont Fire Department

death

Submitted by: FireNews.net Staff
Gaston County

BELMONT – A 24 year-old career Belmont firefighter collapsed and died while on duty Tuesday, December 29th, 2009.

Firefighter Richard Adam Miller was participating in physical fitness training at Fire Department Headquarters, Gaston County Fire Station 43.

Miller was reported to have been working out on a treadmill when he collapsed.

Belmont firefighters immediately began resuscitative efforts and Firefighter Miller was transported to Gaston Memorial Hospital where he later died.

Miller has been a paid firefighter with Belmont since August, 2009. Firefighter Miller was also a Lieutenant with the Millers Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Wilkes County, Fire Station 24.

The investigation into the cause of Miller’s death continues.

Miller is survived by his mother, father and one brother. He was not married and has no children.

This is the second death to occur this year for the Millers Creek Fire Department. William Parsons, 58, died February 1, 2009 after collapsing while operating fire apparatus during an emergency. See the earlier story on FireNews.net.

Belmont Fire Department
301 Keener Blvd
Belmont, NC 28012
Fire Chief: George Altice
704-825-0502

Miller’s Creek Fire Department
5200 Boone Trail Road
Millers Creek, NC 28651
Fire Chief: Jason Smithy
336-838-3213

ARRANGEMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home
270 Armory Drive
North Wilkesboro,  NC
Visitation:  1/1/10 1800-2100 Hours
Funeral Service:  1/2/2010 1100 hours
Millers Creek Baptist Church
5100 Boone Trail
Millers Creek, NC 28651

The doors of opportunity were many for Richard Miller, and all of them were wide open.

But in making a career decision as he prepared for an upcoming marriage, the 24-year-old Belmont firefighter was following his feelings, not fortune.

“That was the kind of thing about him,” said Jason Smithey, chief of the Millers Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Wilkes County, where Miller lived and was also a public servant. “He was unique because he could’ve gone somewhere else and made a lot more money. But he chose the fire service.”

Miller was running on a treadmill during a physical training session at the Belmont Fire Department headquarters when he collapsed just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday December 29, 2009. Fellow firefighters called for help and attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead after being transported by paramedics to Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, added Belmont Fire Chief George Altice.

Authorities had not released the cause of death as of Thursday night. The incident came as a shock to everyone, particularly because Miller was in such excellent physical condition, Altice said.

“He was a healthy young man,” he said. “He had very, very good physical fitness.”

Miller worked for the last six years with the Millers Creek Volunteer Fire Department, where he had risen to the rank of lieutenant. He was hired full-time with the Belmont Fire Department in August, and made the 1½-hour drive south to work each day because he saw it as a good opportunity.

Firefighters can be particular in who they recommend for work at different departments, said Smithey, who told Miller about the Belmont job opening. But Smithey saw him as a perfect fit.

“He is the picture of what you want as a volunteer firefighter,” said Smithey. “Somebody who’s always willing to help their community and get along with people well. He never complained, always did what you told him and went the extra mile.”

Altice, who leads a crew of 15 paid and 23 volunteer firefighters, said much the same. Miller was also an EMT who had earned a two-year degree in respiratory therapy, which allowed him to work at a hospital in Elkin on his days off from Belmont, Altice said.

Miller also had a two-year degree in building construction, giving him a broad base of knowledge and a reputation as an extremely focused individual that set him apart from others, Altice said. But his love was serving people as a firefighter.

“It was his dream coming true,” said Altice. “He had a calling, there’s no doubt. Once he was introduced to the fire service, he had a calling to do that. You could just tell it because he made himself a very hirable candidate.”

Miller was single with no children, but was engaged to be married. He and his fiancée had yet to set a date because she is still pursuing her degree at UNC-Greensboro, Smithey said.

Smithey leads a group of 40 volunteer firefighters in Millers Creek, most of whom are fairly young, he said.

“(Miller) was the core of that group,” he said. “They’re taking it pretty hard. They really are.”

A group of those firefighters made the drive Wednesday afternoon to accompany Miller’s body back home, where Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home in North Wilkesboro will handle funeral arrangements later this week. On the way back, they joined other local firefighters in a brief memorial observance in Belmont.

When one firefighter dies, it resonates with others everywhere, Altice said. “It is a strong brotherhood,” he said. “This was truly a great loss for the fire service, not just for my department, but for what (Miller’s) future was going to hold.”

Richard Miller will be buried with full fire department honors.

Primary Agency: Belmont Fire Department

Posted on Wed Dec 30 2009 at 14:41 UPDATED Fri Dec 31 at 18:10 by FireNews.net

A 24 year-old career Belmont firefighter collapsed and died while on duty Tuesday, December 29th, 2009. Firefighter Richard Adam Miller was participating in physical fitness training at Fire Department Headquarters, Gaston County Fire Station 43. Miller was reported to have been working out on a treadmill when he collapsed.  Belmont firefighters immediately began resuscitative efforts and Firefighter Miller was transported to Gaston Memorial Hospital where he later died. Miller has been a paid firefighter with Belmont since August, 2009. Firefighter Miller was also a Lieutenant with the Millers Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Wilkes County, Fire Station 24.   The investigation into the cause of Miller’s death continues.

Miller is survived by his mother, father and one brother. He was not married and has no children.

Belmont Fire Department
301 Keener Blvd
Belmont, NC 28012
Fire Chief: George Altice
704-825-0502

Miller’s Creek Fire Department
5200 Boone Trail Road
Millers Creek, NC 28651
Fire Chief: Jason Smithy
336-838-3213


Preliminary Arrangements:

The Wake for Firefighter Miller will be Friday night, January 01, 2010.

The Memorial Service will be at 11:00 hours Saturday, January 02, 2010. All services will be in the Millers Creek area.


FireNews.net

Categories : News

Leave a Reply

*

RSS


North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation
P O Box 68, Bahama, NC 27503
(919) 697-5350