DOT To Review Naming Policy After Firefighter Snub

North Carolina transportation officials say they will review the agency's policy on naming state owned bridges after a Board of Transportation committee refused to name a bridge in Asheville after a firefighter who died while fighting a blaze.

DOT spokesman Jeff Vaden told the Citizen-Times of Asheville that the agency's current policy prevents naming bridges and roads for firefighters or other emergency personnel. The DOT does allow them to be named for police officers killed while on duty.

Vaden says the DOT has heard many complaints about the policy.

Officials in Asheville want to name the Smoky Park Bridge for city fire Capt. Jeff Bowen, who died during a blaze at a medical building last July. Authorities ruled the fire arson, but no arrests have been made.


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  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Mar 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM
    They need to name the bridge after this man. He was a hero. Firefighters are very underpaid and very underappreciated by a lot of people. To the one who wants a bridge named after your cat, you are a disgrace of a human being for what you have just said.
  • by narrow minded humans Location: the worls on Mar 11, 2012 at 12:02 PM
    People get hurt and killed in all lines of work. Name a bridge for my cat.
    • reply
      by Firefiighter on Mar 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM in reply to narrow minded humans
      You sir or mam are the narrow minded one. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend. So if he's willing to do it for a stranger that proves he is a hero. Name the bridge and if you don't like it move to another state.
      • reply
        by improve thy IQ and conquer your ego on Mar 11, 2012 at 07:13 PM in reply to Firefiighter
        give up your paycheck and fight fires on the side as a volunteer. then you can spout off. everyone who works in any occupation is laying down his life/time on earth for social good.
    • reply
      by Sam on Mar 11, 2012 at 10:19 PM in reply to narrow minded humans
      Not in all lines of work! Most lines of work are not dangerous including my line of work, but I completely admire the firefighters for putting their lives on the line to save victims from death.
  • by trey Location: jacksonville nc on Mar 11, 2012 at 09:38 AM
    in May 2010 the NC DOT named a US Hwy 17 bridge overpass in onslow county after a sheriff's deputy and a volunteer firefighter were killed in the line of duty while managing traffic due to smoke from a wildfire. the bridge is called the Steve Boehm and Gene Thomas Bridge. If this can be done in onslow county for a vol. firefighter, why not in other NC counties for a paid firefighter . . . both who gave there lives to save others.
  • by Leigh Location: Jacksonville on Mar 11, 2012 at 07:10 AM
    On June 14, 2008, Onslow County Deputy Steve Boehm and Volunteer Firefighter Gene Thomas were killed in the line of duty on US Highway 17 while aiding in traffic control due to a wildfire. In May 2010 the NC DOT honored these heros by naming a US hwy 17 overpass bridge located in onslow county as the Steve Boehm and Gene Thomas Bridge. If this bridge can be named in honor of a fallen firefighter, why can't the one near ashville?
  • by Truth Location: Reality on Mar 11, 2012 at 06:43 AM
    This begs the question: Why is there a policy in existence that specifically prevents the naming of such structures after firefighters and EMS... any profession, really?
  • by tug Location: new bern on Mar 11, 2012 at 06:21 AM
    Policy needs to be changed. If they can honor a policeman that died in the line of duty, then They should also be able to do it for firefighters and EMS personnel. Should be a simple change on a piece of paper somewhere.
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