Nevada Firefighters To Be Added To State Memorial

The names of three career firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty will be added to the Nevada Firefighters Memorial during ceremonies in Carson City on Saturday, October 13.

Clark County Firefighter Richard Washington, Jr., died August 8, 2006 following an on-duty heart attack.

Washington, 49, was a 17-year veteran of the Clark County Fire Department.

He was hired August 7, 1989, and was assigned to Fire Station 16 where he was working at the time of his death.

Washington, who was born in Walla Walla, Washington and had lived in Las Vegas for 22 years, is survived by his mother, Belle Washington; his wife, Mary; a son, David; daughter, Charlotte; brothers James and Charles; and sisters Sharon and Gloria.

Clark County Firefighter Robert Thomas Corse, 50, also died of a heart attack on September 4, 2006.

He was a 15-year veteran of the Clark County Fire Department and was assigned to Fire Station 19.

He was hired April 29, 1991 and was assigned to Fire Station 19 at the time of his death.

Corse, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island and had lived in Nevada since 1977, is survived by his wife, Katrina Marie Corse, who serves as a Captain in the Clark County Fire Department; parents, Mario and Anna Corse of Johnston, Rhode Island; brothers Mario Corse of Coventry, Rhode Island and Peter of Flower Mound, Texas, and John of North Providence, Rhode Island.

Las Vegas Firefighter Mark Thomas Keeton, 44, died of cancer on May 8, 2007.

Cancer is considered a line of duty death because firefighters are exposed to the numerous chemicals and smoke that are present at every fire.

The cancer rate among firefighters is three times higher than the average person.

Keeton was a 19-year veteran of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.

He joined Las Vegas Fire & Rescue on October 3, 1988, and at the time of his death was assigned to the ladder truck at Fire Station 9.

Keeton, who was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Gulf War, was born in Long Beach, California, and had lived in Nevada for 42 years.

He is survived by his wife, Lerma S. Keeton, son and daughter Sean Paul Keeton and Sharon Lynn Keeton, all of Las Vegas; mother Claudia.

C. McCaskill of Leaky, Texas; father, Paul E. Keeton, of Las Vegas brother, Richard Keeton of Las Vegas, and sister, Kelli K. Walker, of Las Vegas.

The addition of the three brings the total number of names of Nevada firefighters known to have died in the line of duty to 56.

The earliest known line of duty death occurred in Gold Hill on September 6, 1870.

Martin Panian, a member of Liberty Engine Company No. 1 of the Gold Hill Fire Department, was struck on the head, fell into an open cistern and drowned while fighters the Ashland House fire.

The memorial ceremony will also include presentation of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Lifetime Achievement Award to the late State Senator Lawrence Jacobsen who died July 26, 2006 at the age of 85.

NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg, who is also the chief of the La Farge, Wisconsin Fire Department, will make the presentation to the Sen. Jacobsen’s family.

The award is made to individuals whose remarkable achievements in the fire service and community exemplify outstanding performance, and is one of only two awards that the National Volunteer Fire Council bestows.

Sen. Jacobsen was nominated for the honor by the board of directors of the Nevada State Firefighters Association because of his lifelong support of the Nevada fire service and his actions as a legislator in creating and supporting legislation benefiting public safety, firefighters, and the Nevada fire service.

The Nevada Firefighters Memorial ceremony is always held on the last Saturday during National Fire Prevention Week in October.