In The Line Of Duty

Ohio Firefighter Killed Responding

Updated: 07-29-2006 10:24:20 AM

Courtesy of WKRC Channel 12

Firefighters in Hanover Township are preparing to bury their first firefighter killed in the line of duty.

Rose Woodbridge, 56, was driving to the firehouse to respond with her unit to a two car crash, when she lost control of her car at State Route 130 and Morman Road, slamming into a pole.

Local 12 Reporter Joelle Girone says it is a loss for an entire community.

"She loved to help people, that's the reason she did it," said Chief Phil Clark, Hanover Township Fire Department. "She enjoyed it so much."

There's something poignant about seeing a firefighter's empty boots. Knowing someone who risks their life for others is gone.

"The second call goes out and to find out it's one of our own," said Chief Clark. "It makes it rough on everybody."

Joelle Girone: "Co-workers say the 56-year-old 'life of the party' would lose her life doing what she loved."

Butler County Sheriff's deputies say Rose Woodbridge died when she lost control of her car driving eastbound on State Route 130 Friday morning. The roads were slick from rain.

Woodbridge was responding to a separate accident located just down the road.

Fire Chief Phil Clark says Friday, his department is mourning the mother of three, and a grandmother of six. He says she was more than just a colleague.

"Being a volunteer fire department it's not employment, it's a family," said Chief Clark.

50 men and women volunteer in Hanover Township. That's a strong department, by any measure, for any city, but especially important now. Along with Rose, her husband, Ray, also volunteers in Hanover and Riley Townships as a firefighter. Two local departments where he will now have to walk by those boots.

"We told him whatever he needs, we'll drop whatever to help."

The chief says it was just three years ago, when Rose joined the crew. He would fit her fire days in between babysitting for the grandkids. It's just "what she did," and what he says they'll continue to do for Rose.

"Everybody has to pull together and keep on going."

Hanover Township is planning to bury Firefighter Rose Woodbridge with full honors. The funeral will be held the beginning of next week.