Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue mournfully announces the passing of Retired Chief James Harrison on November 5th, 2019 at the age of 64. Chief Harrison began his career with Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue in 1972 starting a forty-two-year career. In 1992 he was promoted to the rank of Chief, which he faithfully served in for twenty-four years. Chief Harrison also volunteered with Swiss Valley EMS as an EMT during its initial inception in 1978.
“Chief Harrison was a dedicated servant to the Sugarcreek community,” stated Dr. Kevin Miller, Chief of Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue. “His passing is a tremendous loss to our fire department and community. We will forever be indebted to Jim for the service he provided. The Sugarcreek Fire Department would not be where it is today without his hard work, commitment, and sacrifice.”
Under the leadership of Chief Harrison, Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue saw exponential growth. Not only in personnel, but also with service industry technology and vehicle acquisition. Chief Harrison understood the value that a great fire department has on its community and made it his goal for Sugarcreek Fire and Rescue to operate at that high standard.
Along with a storied fire service career with the department, Chief Harrison also served with the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, Southeast Fire Chief’s Association, Tuscarawas County Fire Chief’s Association, Tuscarawas County Chiefs and Officers, Salvation Army Board of Dover-New Philadelphia, Buckeye Career Center Adult Education Fire School Board, Tuscarawas County 911 Committee, Michigan International Fire Crew, and the fire prevention coordinator for Garaway Local Schools and Sugarcreek area Amish Schools.
Chief Harrison is survived by his wife, Nancy Harrison, who served the community alongside him as Sugarcreek Chief for Swiss Valley EMS. Also surviving is his daughter, Melissa and husband Michael James. And his Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law, Ray (Retired Assistant Fire Chief) and Esther Croft.
A celebration of life service will be held at Sugarcreek United Church of Christ on Sunday, November 10th at 1:00 pm with procession and graveside to follow. Calling hours will be from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Saturday, November 9th, also being held at the church. Firefighter Last Alarm services will be held that evening at 7:00 pm.