BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The loss of beloved Fire Chief Bruce James is being mourned and commemorated through a funeral service held by his family, friends, and fellow colleagues of the Bradley-Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department where he had faithfully served for over 30 years.
“Chief Bruce James was my first chief, my first mentor, and my best friend,” says Chief Gary Taylor, a former colleague of James at the Bradley Volunteer Fire Department.
After losing an ongoing battle to Parkinson’s Disease on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, Chief James’ name refuses to be forgotten, and many of the lives he impacted came out to the Church of God Family Worship Center in Beckley to mourn his loss and celebrate his life.
“Bruce was the type of chief that, if a member of the community called, it didn’t matter what it was, who it was, where it was, he would answer the phone and he would listen to their issue. He touched so many lives,” he says.
Of course, a major part of James’ life was spent on the fire truck helping those in need, and a full-on firefighter’s funeral was held in his honor, complete with flags, memorabilia during his career, an honor guard, a ceremonial posting of the colors, and hundreds of firefighters and first responders from across the region.
“We salute Bruce James today with a celebration of his life and his legacy,” adds Taylor.
Chief James was all about helping the community and serving alongside his fellow firefighters, as a strong advocator of bringing young people into the field, an adamant supporter of legislative laws for the fire service, and even a helper in setting the standards required by fire departments today.
Chief Bruce James had been a part of the fire service for 42 years. He will be buried in a small cemetery in Prosperity.