Plain Township fire Chief John Hoovler remembers David "Beau" Schoener as always smiling.
"He was one of those guys that just always did the right thing," he said.
Schoener, 39, died March 12 of a heart attack at his home in Pickerington.
Services for Schoener, who worked with the Plain Township Fire Department for nearly 13 years, were held March 17.
Schoener joined the fire department Aug. 6, 2003, Hoovler said, and was an accomplished and compassionate paramedic. He had earned the Chief's Award, which is given out annually for excellence, Hoovler said.
Hoovler said firefighters are assigned seating positions in a fire truck based on their skills, and Schoener was known for riding in the fourth seat of the ladder truck and being responsible for such actions as search and rescue, ventilation and shutting off building utilities.
Schoener also was an avid volunteer for Safety Town, an instructional program for children organized by the Plain Township Fire Department, the New Albany Police Department and the New Albany-Plain Local School District, Hoovler said.
"He loved kids," he said.
In another example of his volunteerism, Schoener volunteered as a FEMA representative in Louisiana for nearly two weeks following Hurricane Katrina, Hoovler said.
Battalion Chief Joe Brown said he first met Schoener as a paramedic student at Columbus State Community College, where Brown was an instructor. Schoener was a bright and talented student, he said.
Once he joined the Plain Township Fire Department, Schoener became known a as a caring person, who valued his family and those he helped on the job, Brown said.
"He was just that kind of a person," Brown said.
Around the fire station, Schoener was known as an excellent cook, Hoovler said.
Prior to becoming a firefighter, he worked as a cook at Max & Erma's, he said. When he joined the fire department, he fell into the role of cook again.
Schoener was involved in the department's efforts to remodel the kitchen, Hoovler said. When that project is finished, it will likely include a memorial for him.
"Beau never hesitated to step up to the plate and help," Hoovler said.
He said Schoener's greatest accomplishment was raising his son, Jacob, 9. Schoener spent most of his off-duty time caring for Jacob and helping coach Little League baseball.
"He was just an excellent father," Hoovler said.
Schoener graduated from Hilliard High School in 1995 and earned a fire-science degree from Columbus State.
A fundraising page for Schoener's son is available at gofundme.com/3i5b6pk.