JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson is honoring a fire lieutenant by ordering U.S. and Missouri flags to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, July 8.

Flags will be half-staff at all government buildings in Jefferson County and at fire houses across the state.

It is in honor of DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District Fire Marshal/Lieutenant Ronald W. Wehlage, Jr.

Lieutenant Wehlage died due to a medical emergency on June 30, two days after responding to a structure fire. His death is considered to be in the line of duty.

Gov. Parson also ordered U.S. and Missouri flags be flown at half-staff at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City.

“At an early age, Ronald Wehlage chose a career path based on service to others,” Gov. Parson said. “He was committed to protecting others, educating residents and children about the importance of fire safety, and improving the lives of the people he served. Lieutenant Wehlage will be remembered for his devotion to ensuring the people of the DeSoto Rural Fire Protection were safe and secure.”

Lieutenant Wehlage joined the DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District as a volunteer firefighter in April 2003 and became a full-time firefighter with the district in February 2004. As fire marshal, he was responsible for fire safety education in the district. He was also the district’s media representative.

Lieutenant Wehlage joined the fire service as a member of the Hillsboro Fire Protection District in 1999. He also served as an EMT with the North Jefferson County Ambulance District and the Valley Ambulance District before joining the DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District. He was 40 years old.