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PAYING TRIBUTE AND EXTENDING SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO THE BELOVED FAMILIES, FELLOW FIREMEN, AND FRIENDS OF THE NINE CITY OF CHARLESTON FIREFIGHTERS WHO TRAGICALLY PERISHED IN THE WEST ASHLEY FIRE ON MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2007, AND COMMENDING THEM FOR THEIR HEROIC BRAVERY AND THEIR COURAGEOUS AND DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE SAFETY OF THE LIVES OF THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF CHARLESTON AND THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
Whereas, Captain William "Billy" Hutchinson, Captain Mike Benke, Captain Louis Mulkey, Engineer Mark Kelsey, Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, Assistant Engineer Michael French, Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton, Firefighter Brandon Thompson, and Firefighter Melven Champaign who tragically perished in the West Ashley fire on Monday, June 18, 2007, deserve high tribute and honor for representing their city and department through courage, sacrifice, and dedication to their profession and their community, and will be missed by their beloved families, fellow firemen, and friends; and
Whereas, the commitment, dependability, and expertise of these nine firefighters helped to ensure the safety of the lives of the citizens of their community; and
Whereas, these nine firefighters warrant our deepest respect and the commendation of their community and State for their extraordinary service and devotion to duty in this inherently dangerous profession; and
Whereas, these men had the opportunity to share in the strong sense of camaraderie that exists between those who accept the enormous risks of being a firefighter; and
Whereas, courage and endurance are an every day part of the profession of firefighting, and the service of the men and women of this profession requires many hours of sacrifice, training, and preparation to meet the stringent physical demands of their job; and
Whereas, these firefighters were members of the City of Charleston Fire Department, a Class I rated department consisting of nineteen fire companies located throughout the city. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, pay tribute and extend their sincere condolences to the beloved families, fellow firemen, and friends of the nine City of Charleston firefighters who tragically perished in the West Ashley fire on Monday, June 18, 2007, and commend them for their bravery and courageous service to their community.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the beloved families of these nine courageous firefighters and to the fellow firefighters at the City of Charleston Fire Department.
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