‘Rest easy … we’ll take it from here’

Benoist, longtime volunteer firefighter, laid to rest 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery
* Obituary

EAST ROCKINGHAM — Members of several Richmond County public safety agencies, friends and family members of the late Douglas Edward “Pooh” Benoist gathered Wednesday to pay their respects to the longtime volunteer firefighter.

Benoist died Sunday at the age of 69. He retired from Richmond Yarns after working there many years. He was a member of the East Rockingham Fire Department since 1976 and was a member of East Rockingham United Methodist Church. Benoist suffered a series of strokes beginning about six years ago and was bedridden, cared for by Trey Goodwin, a lieutenant with the Hamlet Fire Department, and his family.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The siren sounded one more time for the late Doug "Pooh" Benoist, offered a final ride on Engine 808 from East Rockingham United Methodist Church past East Rockingham Fire Department to Richmond County Memorial Park.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The siren sounded one more time for the late Doug “Pooh” Benoist, offered a final ride on Engine 808 from East Rockingham United Methodist Church past East Rockingham Fire Department to Richmond County Memorial Park.

The business day begin at it’s normal rat-race pace this morning but a dispatcher with Richmond County Emergency Services broke routine communications with a tribute to Benoist.

“Doug Benoist is out of service,” the dispatcher said. “Rest easy … we’ll take it from here.”

Benoist was afforded one last ride by the East Rockingham Fire Department on Airport Road. His body was escorted by 12 firefighters on the back of Engine 808, plus an operator. After a funeral service at East Rockingham United Methodist Church, a procession of more than 30 vehicles, led by Richmond County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars and including the Richmond County Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Engine 808 was seventh in line as they passed by the station, which was at the 1-mile point of a roughly 5.25-mile route to U.S. Route 1, Highway Business 74 to Richmond County Memorial Park. Logistical support was provided by sheriff’s office deputies and officers with the Rockingham Police Department.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

There, members of the Hamlet and Rockingham fire departments staged two ladder trucks at the park’s entrance and displayed a large American flag for the procession to pass under.

A steady rain began to fall midway through the procession en route to Richmond County Memorial Park. It did not, of course, deter the purpose of the afternoon.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

Filed in: Featured News, Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News, Obits, Public safety, Rockingham

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