Robert E. “Bobby” Heminger, 39 years old, was a Captain with the Wood River Fire and Rescue Department in Wood River, Nebraska. In the early morning hours of Saturday, February 14, 2004, Bob and fellow firefighter Kenny Woitalewicz responded to a house fire where an elderly woman was trapped inside. Both firefighters entered the home hoping to rescue the victim when a poorly constructed roof loaded with ice collapsed on them, trapping them underneath the rubble. Captain Bobby Heminger died the next day from his injuries, and Captain Kenny Woitalewicz succumbed to his injuries two days later.

Captain Robert “Bobby” Heminger joined the ranks of Wood River Fire and Rescue in 1984. He was a great promoter of the department, and encouraged many of the department‘s current members to join, including his father, Dewey. During his 20 year career, Bobby’s training and dedication carried him to a place of prominence in the community. In addition to his fire fighting duties, he served as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, CPR instructor, and Instructor trainer. Bobby was very active in fire prevention activities and loved to work with school children. Heminger received a Chief’s Citation for exemplary service in 2002 and a 20 year service award in 2004. Heminger was a key member of the Wood River Rescue Squad when they were awarded the Nebraska EMS Provider of the Year award in 1991 and 2002. At the time of his accident he was one of the most highly trained, experienced and dedicated members of the department.

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