ALBANY - Three Western New York firefighters, and six more from throughout New York state, who lost their lives in the line of duty were recently honored at the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
With family, friends, and hundreds of firefighters there to pay their respects, state Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy led a ceremony in adding the names of nine fallen firefighters to the memorial.
"Firefighters from across the state came to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of these individuals. We must never forget the fact that our first responders risk their lives every day, and for that we are eternally grateful," said state Sen. Catharine M. Young, R-C-I-Olean, who attended the ceremony to memorialize the nine firefighters honored.
State Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean, is pictured with the friends and family of Ronald J. Keddie, and members of the Sheridan Fire Department.
Ronald J. Keddie, a 41-year member of the Sheridan Fire Department, passed away on June 27,2012, at the age of 64. While reporting to the fire station to drive an engine to a motor vehicle accident, Ron collapsed on the floor of the fire station due to a medical emergency, and succumbed to his injuries.
Keddie was a state fire instructor for more than 30 years. He coordinated the Chautauqua County Weekend at the New York State Fire Academy, where there was rarely an empty seat.
Keddie also loved to work with children and routinely taught fire prevention to children at local schools, youth groups and at the Chautauqua County Children's Safety Education Village.
Keddie served the Sheridan Fire Department as president, chief for two terms and most recently as a fire commissioner in his third term. Through the course of his career, he also served on countless committees. Keddie served in the Vietnam War from 1967-1970 in the U.S. Navy and received the National Defense Medal. He was also very active in local fraternal organizations, clubs, charitable organizations, and an avid Buffalo Sabres fan.
Surviving are his wife Kathleen and son Michael, both active members of the Sheridan Fire Department, and daughters Jennifer and Melissa. He was predeceased by his parents Robert and Esther, and his son Todd.