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Long-time fire chief named a ‘Hometown Hero’ at Black Bears game Friday

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the community.  Those are the people the West Virginia Black Bears’ Hometown Hero program honors.

For each of the team’s six Friday home games at Monongalia County Ballpark, a hometown hero is named from nominations made by the community.

Each hero is awarded with free tickets to the game and the Black Bears’ promotional team makes a short video highlighting their accomplishments that is shown on the video board at the game and posted to social media.

The first of these heroes, Roark Sizemore, founder and president of Pantry Plus More in Westover, was honored at a game on June 24.

Friday night, the second of these heroes, Brookhaven VFD Chief Jimmy Lipscomb, was recognized for his decades of service to the Monongalia County community.  

According to Brookhaven VFD, Lipscomb has been chief for nearly 40 years and is the longest active volunteer chief in Monongalia County. 

Lipscomb said he started at Brookhaven in 1978, working his way up through the ranks to become chief in 1985.

In the last 40 years, Lipscomb has been involved in starting both the first Hazmat Team in West Virginia and the first volunteer brush fire team in Monongalia County. 

Lipscomb is a state certified forest fire warden and certified state fire instructor.  He also  spent time as a wildland firefighter in both Montana and Idaho. 

He became certified as a hazmat specialist in 2001 dealing with anthrax and assisted FEMA with hurricane relief for both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In addition, Lipscomb is an emergency medical responder and is also certified in aircraft rescue, swift water rescue, is a level 2 ropes instructor and more.

Trevor Dolan, sponsorship and sales manager for the Black Bears said Hometown Heroes are chosen from nominations from the community.

The Black Bears’ promotions team said there was an overwhelming number of people from the community come forward to second Lipscomb’s nomination – “which we take as a very good sign.”

“We have a submission page for it on our website. We open it to the public and they submit who they would like to honor,” Dolan said.  “They put in some information and then write about why they should be recognized. Myself and my interns will then go through the submissions and decide on which ones have truly made an impact to the Morgantown area.”

Dolan and his team don’t have the final say though.  Since the promotion is sponsored by Fred L. Jenkins Funeral Home, Dolan’s team sends a list of the people they would like to honor for one last screening.

“They then have the final decision on who we honor,” Dolan said.

There will be four more Hometown Heroes honored at home games this season, but those honorees have not yet been determined.  

If you know any “ordinary people doing extraordinary things” you can nominate them on the Black Bear’s website — and clicking the community link.

A link to the nomination form can also be found on Fred L. Jenkins Funeral Home website –