Firefighters Who Died During River Rescue Attempt Remembered

It’s been 46 years since two Findlay firefighters gave their lives trying to save two boys from the Blanchard River.

On April 22, 1978 the fire department was dispatched to the area of the Riverside Park Dam where the boys’ canoe had capsized.

The current was powerful, and during the rescue attempt, firefighters William VanAtta and Roland Smith were tossed into the turbulent and churning water.

Both firefighters died as well as the two boys.

A memorial to the two firefighters can be found along the river at Riverside Park.

“If you’re near Riverside Park, please stop at the monument and remember their sacrifice,” the fire department posted on Facebook.