POMEROY, OH (WOWK) – The Pomeroy Fire Department has announced the death of the longest-serving member in the department’s history, Howard B. Mullen.

Mullen passed away Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 at the age of 94 after a nearly 70-year tenure at the fire department, the PVFD said. Mullen joined the PFD on Nov. 10, 1952, and officials with the PVFD say his service “spanned nearly half the time of the department’s existence.”

The PVFD says Mullen dedicated his life to public safety and was known throughout the first responder community as “Unit 18.” Along with his service on the Pomeroy Fire Department, Mullen spent 60 years with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and spent several years serving with the Pomeroy Emergency Squad. As part of his career, he also traveled across the Buckeye State as a highly-respected bank examiner.

“To define Howard Mullen, it would include dedication, honor, and commitment He loved what he did!” said Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood. “But it would also include heart and soul. We knew Howard loved his community and helping people.”

Mullen has received multiple awards throughout his life of public service, the PFD says. Some of these honors include the EMT of the Year, the Meigs County Distinguished Citizen, and being named the Hocking Valley Regional Fire School Honorary Dean. The PFD’s Butternut Avenue headquarters was also renamed in his honor on April 30, 2022.

“But none were more important than friend and uncle to his beloved nieces and nephews,” The PFD said of Mullen’s many titles and honors. “We ask that you keep his family and our fire department in your prayers.”

“Although many stories about Howard can be told by those around him, his favorites involved his friends in public safety. His highest honor was the naming of the Pomeroy Fire Department’s Butternut Avenue headquarters as the Howard B. Mullen Fire Station, for his 70 years of dedicated service.

His only remarks were ‘I was never a great firefighter, so to speak. But I always wanted to help. The honor really belongs to everyone who volunteers here.'”

Pomeroy Volunteer Fire Department

The PFD says Mullen also had a winter home in Florida, and also served as a volunteer firefighter in the North Fort Myers community for several years. His fellow PFD firefighters say a highlight of his year was always making a trip to Oklahoma to visit family on his way back to Pomeroy from North Fort Myers.

According to Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood, Mullen’s Unit Number for the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, #53-18, will be retired in his memory.

“I so enjoyed our conversations, reflecting on riding with Sheriff Charles Russell in 1953, telling us stories and how we should always be thankful for what we have! His reflections and tears of helping that cold December night on the Ohio River When the Silver Bridge collapsed.

But to maintain his Ohio Deputy Sheriff commission with my office through this past August – he wanted to ride with me one more time around our county fair. His last time.

It meant the world for me to know this man. He encouraged, motivated those he spent time with. We will take it from here HB 53-18. Your unit number will be retired, and we will never forget.”

Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood