By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
After the death of volunteer firefighter Captain James Lee Von Roden, the County Commissioners discovered that there was a $50,000 firefighter death benefit in the county’s statutes.
The provision for the benefit, payable to surviving family members upon the death of a firefighter in the line of duty, had been in the county statutes since 1968, but had been forgotten – no one remembered or realized it was there it was still there until the Von Roden tragedy.
Von Roden, 49, served with the Lee Volunteer Firefighter Department, and was President of the Lee Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors. He was responding to a call regarding an outdoor fire when he collapsed. He was transported to the hospital, where he later died.
The Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the County Clerk to cut a check to the surviving Von Roden family members.
In a separate motion, advised by county attorney Tommy Reeves, the Commission also and to purchase insurance to cover the county in the future, with the hope that it will never have to be used in the event of another tragic death.