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Coal Grove chief cared for village

Jim Sherman loved his community and his country.

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Jim Sherman loved his community and his country. He served his country in the Army Reserves for more than 30 years, earning many military honors.

He also served as the chief of the Coal Fire Department for many, many years.

But if you had asked him what contributions he made to the village and his country, a shy – and humble – smile would have sneaked across his face. He would explain that his was a small part of the hard work of many people. He would deny any extraordinary effort.

That is how it is with real heroes.

For those who don’t know, there would be no fire department in Coal Grove without Sherman. He made sure that the firefighters had equipment, funding and whatever they needed to make sure no family would lose a home to fire.

He fought for his department and his community until the day he died – retiring only when he just could not continue to do the job that needed to be done.

Most people knew that Jim Sherman left the fire department because he was just too sick to continue. They also knew that it was a hard decision for a man who had given so much to an organization.

The news of his death last week was sad not just because of what he gave to the Village of Coal Grove, but because of the kind of man he was.

His influence will be measured in the village every time a fire truck’s alarm sounds.