Wood County Fireman’s Association honors Cothern

Ted Cox, president of the Capt. James Neal Chapter West Virginia Sons of the American Revolution, presents the 2018 Firefighter of the Year Award to Bernard Cothern, former Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department Chief. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG – A former chief of the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department was honored Monday at the Wood County Fireman’s Association monthly meeting as the 2018 Fire Fighter of Year by the Sons of the American Revolution Capt. James Neal Chapter.

Bernard Cothern originally received the award at the chapter’s quarterly dinner at Colombo’s Restaurant in February. Monday’s ceremony took place at the Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department.

Cothern was awarded the SAR’s Fire Safety Commendation Medal for accomplishments and outstanding contributions in fire safety and services. He was honored for lifetime service after more than 50 years as a volunteer firefighter.

Cothern is a charter member in 1969 of the PMBS Volunteer Fire Department, now known as Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department. PMBS was short for Pettyville, Mineral Wells, Bonnivale, Slate.

He served 11 years as chief of the department, four years as its president and four years as vice president, and was the department’s Firefighter of the Year in 2009 and 2013.

Chief Bernard Cothern, second from right, and members of the Mineral Wells VFD. (Photo Provided)

Cothern also served as president of the Wood County Firefighters Association and president of the Central Ohio Valley Industrial Emergency Organization.

Cothern retired in 2000 from Monongahela Power as supervisor of operations. He remains active with the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department.

The award is co-sponsored by Firehouse Subs on Murdoch Avenue where a plaque honoring Cothern will be on display.

Past award winners of the award are:

* 2013: Capt. James Reynolds, Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department.

Bernard Cothern, former Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department Chief, was named the 2018 Firefighter of the Year by the Sons of the American Revolution Capt. James Neal Chapter. (Photo Provided)

* 2014: Sgt. Jack Nohe, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

* 2015: Howard Nicholas, Williamstown Volunteer Fire Department.

* 2016: Lt. Richard Honse, Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department.

* 2017: Pvt. Jason Fleak, Parkersburg Fire Department.

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