Liberty Township Firefighter/Paramedic Darrel L. Wasmer will be honored by the Liberty Township Fire Department and Liberty Township Professional Fire Fighters Local 3754 with full honors on Sunday, Nov. 18, for his dedicated service to the community.
Calling hours for family, friends, and the community will be held between 9 and 11 a.m., and the service will begin at 1 p.m. at Brookshire, 405 Greif Parkway, Delaware, with a wake immediately following. There will be no processional after the service.
Wasmer, who was diagnosed with occupational cancer — non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2016 and more recently with amyloidosis — passed away Monday, Nov. 5.
According to Josh Barnhart, Local 3754, since Wasmer’s passing was caused by occupational cancer, he will receive full honors.
“According to his wife’s wishes, there will be bagpipes and everything,” he said.
Barnhart added he isn’t sure how many other fire departments will participate in the service, but he expects there to be others in attendance along with the township’s department.
According to Wasmer’s obituary from Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematorium in Sebastian, Florida, he passed away Nov. 5, 2018, at Sebastian River Medical Center. Wasmer also worked as a medic with Med Flight and was the medic chief for Station 9 in Jackson, Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Carla; four children: Angie, Shawn, Heather and Haley; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Scott Simmons, president of Local 3754, issued a statement on Wasmer’s passing earlier this week.
“The Liberty Township Professional Fire Fighters are mourning the loss of Firefighter/Paramedic Darrel L. Wasmer. Brother Wasmer lost his battle to occupational cancer. Darrel was a charter member of IAFF Local 3754 and served the Liberty Township Fire Department for over 24 years. Darrel had a passion for serving those in need. His smile, laughter, and his selfless service will be missed by all.”
Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters spokesman Doug Stern stated in earlier reports that firefighters have a greater exposure to carcinogens due to battling fires.
“Firefighters are 51 percent more likely to contract non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma than the general population. I think it’s important to note that his cancer started as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but metastasized to amyloidosis,” Stern said.
Earlier this week, Stern said firefighters/paramedics want to go out with their boots on, saving lives.
“Wasmer died essentially with his boots off. It is a direct result of years of him working as a firefighter,” he said.
Court documents show that Wasmer had applied to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in June 2017, but the claim was denied in July 2017. He then filed four different appeals with the Ohio Industrial Commission before vacating the BWC decision that Wasmer’s cancer wasn’t work-related.
However, the Liberty Township Board of Trustees appealed the Industrial Commission’s decision, which stopped payment of the medical bills. Wasmer passed away before the commission could make a decision on the township’s appeal.
“When a claimant dies before a final decision is made, the claim is abated and the family has a right to file a separate claim for death benefits,” said Tony Gottschlich, a media spokesperson for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.