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S.C. designates two stretch of highway in Lexington County in memory of fallen firefighters

Lexington County, SC (05/24/2021 Paul Kirby) – Officials from Lexington County, along with friends, and family members gathered at two separate points on Friday to dedicate sections of highway in memory of the only two firefighters in Lexington County who gave their lives in service to their community. One ceremony was help at 11:00 a.m. off Two Notch Road near the Round Hill Fire Station and the second was held on Fairview Road near I-20 close to the Samaria Fire Station at 2:00 p.m.

The section of Two Notch Road from Longs Pond Road to Smith Pond Road has now been designated the Lexington County Firefighter Jefferey Vanden Chavis Memorial highway. Chavis was a firefighter that worked out of the county’s Round Hill Station. He died after being burned fighting a house fire near Lake Murray. This year is the twentieth anniversary of his passing.

Chavis’ mother spoke at the dedication on Friday. She thanked everyone who had worked so hard to see that the State of SC’s legislature passed the legislation authorizing the Memorial Highway designation. She said that so much had been done in Chavis’ memory since he died, and this designation was just one other means of ensuring that Jeff wasn’t ever forgotten.

The section of Fairview Road from I-20 to Oleander Road was also designated the Fire Engineer Paul Quattlebaum, Jr. Memorial Highway. In 2019, Quattlebaum was assigned to the Samaria Fire Station when he and his partner were dispatched to an EMS call. While enroute, the pair drove up on a vehicle accident and stopped to render ad. Quattlebaum was killed when a truck ran through the accident scene and struck him down.

Lexington County Fire Chief Mark Davis said Friday that it was significant that Quattlebaum and his partner chose to stop at the accident. They were enroute to another call but made the decision to stop on Fairview Road and check for injuries at the scene of the collision. Although that choice would eventually cost Quattlebaum his life, Davis said he was sure that they crew would make the same decision again if necessary. Quattlebaum, a former active-duty US Marine was all about caring and helping when others were in need. It had been his life’s work and part of what made Quattlebaum the unique man he was.

At the beginning of each of these stretches of highway, special signs have been erected in memory of the fallen men. There they’ll stand as a tribute and a reminder that too often; our safety and freedom have been paid for by the blood of others.


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