The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department Attended A Charity Hockey Game For A Firefighter Who Lost His Life


FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – On Saturday March 24th 2018, the K-9 Unit of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department attended a charity hockey game between the Pittsburgh Fire Department and the Baltimore City Fire Department at the Ice Castle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The match was dedicated to retired Captain George Gross of the Pittsburgh Fire Department, who had recently visited the New River Gorge area, where he experienced an accident while hiking which resulted in his tragic death.

Lieutenant Jess R. McMullen of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department along with his bloodhound K-9 partner “Pappy” were called up to aid the National Park Service and the West Virginia State Police in searching for Captain Gross, who had been missing for over 48 hours.  During the night time tracking effort, Pappy provided McMullen a strong indication at the Endless Wall Trail near the edge of a cliff.  The next morning during daylight hours, responders located Mr. Gross’s body at this location.

As a result of the charity hockey game, $12,000 were raised.  The Fire Departments along with the family of Captain Gross donated all of the proceeds to the benefit of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit.  Without the vigilant efforts given by Lieutenant McMullen and Pappy, due the rugged terrain and remote location where Captain Gross went missing, his body may never have been recovered.  Gross’s family was extremely grateful for the K-9 Unit’s efforts in helping their family gain closure to this tragic event.

Tyler Barker

Tyler is the Chief Meteorologist & Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. You can find him weekdays at 5, 6, and 11 pm on WOAY-TV. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at

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