Findlay Firefighter Memorial Moved To Riverside Park

The Findlay Fire Department had the memorial for fallen firefighters Roland Smith and William VanAtta moved from the south side of the river to the north side at Riverside Park.

Chief Josh Eberle says the memorial was easy to miss when it was on the south side of the river and the new location is more visible and receives a lot more foot traffic.

“We feel it’s a much more appropriate location to recognize their sacrifice and to always keep their memory alive.”



Chief Eberle says an additional plaque will be installed that explains the events surrounding their deaths on April 22nd, 1978, when they tried to rescue two kids from the swollen Blanchard River and their rescue boat overturned and they drowned.

Chief Eberle says both Smith and VanAtta also served their country in the U.S. Army and were Vietnam War Veterans.

VanAtta was a military policeman, and Smith served with the 101st Airborne, receiving a Bronze Star.