CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The wailing whine of bagpipes could be heard around the state Capitol Complex as firefighters gathered to honor those lost in the line of duty.
Firefighters from around the region gathered Sunday afternoon at the Firefighter's Memorial statue at the Culture Center for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service honoring Joey King, who was killed Dec. 4, 2011.
King, a 61-year-old member of the Davis Creek-Ruthdale Volunteer Fire Department, was out on a call early the morning of Dec. 4. Someone had set railroad ties on fire off Sproul Road near Alum Creek and King, along with another firefighter responded.
They stopped on the Steven Wayne Smith Memorial Bridge on Corridor G to try to spot the fire in the dense fog and smoke. No one saw King fall from the bridge, but his body was found on the hillside below.
King's sister, Arietta King, and his longtime girlfriend, Sonja Kay Carson, were among the family members who came out for the service.
Carson, King's girlfriend of 21 years, thanked the fire service for their overwhelming support.
Firefighters were in attendance from Davis Creek-Ruthdale, Charleston, Pinch, Sophia, Tyler Moutain, Huntington and abroad. Lt. Craig Duck from the Washington D.C. Fire Department offered the closing prayer.
"They have stuck together through this," she said "They've just been there for us. If we need anything they've been there to help us."
It's been nearly a year since King fell from the bridge.
In that year, Charles Roberts, the man who set the fire that brought King and other firefighters out, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. Both Carson and Arietta followed the trial closely, they said.