John Forbush (Courtesy: East Fork VFD)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice has ordered that flags be flown at half staff on Tuesday in honor of fallen Braxton County firefighter, John Forbush.

The proclamation says that all United States and West Virginia flags at the Capitol Complex in Charleston and all state-owned facilities in Braxton County be displayed at half-staff from dawn to dusk on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, as Forbush is laid to rest.

Forbush died on Sunday, May 1, while trying to rescue a woman and child who were trapped in a vehicle in the Elk River near Sutton. Forbush was unable to free them and also lost his life in the rescue effort. He was 24 years old.

“This brave firefighter should be known as a hero to all West Virginians,” Gov. Justice said. “We can never thank our firefighters and all of our first responders enough for how they always run to the fire and put their lives on the line for all of us.”

According to his obituary, Forbush has been a generous and engaged member of the Braxton County community since he moved there with his family in 2011. He leaves behind a young daughter and fiance.

“John had a helping heart who never met a stranger, and he touched the lives of individuals in our county as well as in other states,” said his obituary.

His family has requested that anyone wanting to honor Forbush and his service send memorial donations to his fire department instead of flowers. Donations can be made to Gassaway Volunteer Fire Department, 105 Fifth Street, Gassaway, WV 26624.