Layner named Parkersburg Firefighter of the Year

PARKERSBURG – To help people.

Jeremy Layner, 30, of Mineral Wells said he became a firefighter because he enjoys helping others. He dedicates part of his time helping the community and another part of it as an assistant wrestling coach for the Parkersburg South High School Patriots, 18 time state champions.

“I’ve always wanted to (be a firefighter),” Layner said. “I’ve always enjoyed helping people. I’ve been volunteering to coach wrestling for years.”

Layner was named the Parkersburg Fire Department’s Firefighter of the Year by Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Taylor on Friday.

When he attended high school, he was on the wrestling team.

Because Layner is off two, sometimes three, days a week during the month, he has found ways to stay busy when away from the fire station. He works for his construction company with family members, he said. Layner met his girlfriend of almost three years, Kayla Anderson, in Parkersburg.

Layner usually works at Fire Station 5 on Blizzard Drive, but he said being younger he is sometimes stationed in another area. He started thinking about becoming a firefighter about six years before he became one, he said.

He went through the physical agility and written tests several times before he was hired three years ago.

“It took about six years to become one,” he said. “I started in 2003 and was two weeks from being hired (at one point).”

Layner said he had to be put on hold as other, veteran firefighters decided to return to their squads.

“I can think of a lot more guys (more) worthy than me,” he said of receiving the award. “But it’s an honor and there are a good group of guys here.”

Taylor said the fire department is proud of the service Layner has given since joining the team in 2010.

“Jeremy has an attitude of excellence and that is evident in everything that he does,” Taylor said. “He is proud to be a Parkersburg firefighter and we are glad to have him.”

Layner said he plans to retire with the fire department. Taylor said the department couldn’t be happier with his efforts.