EKY fire department reflects on life of longest-serving member

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Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:26 PM EDT
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KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Members of the Hindman Volunteer Fire Department are reflecting on the life of their longest-serving member.

James Slone, who many knew as “Jim”, served for 46 of the department’s 55-year history.

“If you looked up a firefighter in the dictionary, Jim’s picture was there,” said Jeff Blair, who worked alongside Jim at the department. “He went at it with all his heart, his entire life.”

After becoming a certified firefighter in 1978, Blair said Jim was active ever since.

Blair added that Slone was the department’s longest-serving secretary treasurer.

“His impact on this fire department, it’s beyond words,” Blair said. “He made sure that the bills were paid. He made sure that everyone was equipped with the firefighting equipment that they needed at all times.”

Blair said Slone also helped the department buy its first fire truck.

“He wrote the check that paid for that fire truck,” he said.

During his 46 years tenure, Slone battled many of the county’s fires in that truck; even after losing both legs due to medical issues.

“They don’t make them like that anymore. That’s sure the truth,” said the department’s fire chief Preston Hays. “he wasn’t going to be stopped. He could go up and down hills. He continued to fish, hunt, fight fire, drive the fire apparatus. He done all of that stuff.”

Hays said Jim always put the important things in life as his priority.

“The most important things to Jim was his religion first and foremost,” said Hays. “Secondary to that would be his family. He was all about God and he was all about family.”

The family will receive friends at Hindman Funeral Services Chapel on Thursday at 11:00 a.m., followed by the funeral service at noon.