Austin Michael Peck lost his battle with occupational contrived sinus cancer on August 31, 2019. As a young boy, he ran toward the sound of sirens and horns. As many young kids are drawn to ice cream trucks, Austin was drawn to fire trucks and to fire service.
Austin’s first fire job was with Northwest Fire Wild Land District in 2003-2004. He then went to the City of Goodyear for 12 years. He absolutely loved the work and the crews, blaring sirens and horns to recruit the young and ambitious future public servants. Austin’s fire legacy lives on in decontamination protocols and equipment.
His funeral procession had miles of fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles, including two helicopter escorts. The 25-mile procession to the Dubliner Bar, a firefighter’s lair in Phoenix, was a brotherhood of over 2,000 people saying goodbye and honoring a true public servant. It was a day of worship, recognizing the loss of a hero, friend, mentor, brother, son, father, and husband. A celebration of a life of laughter and comedy. A natural Council of Dads to carry his legacy and watch over the wellbeing of his two strong young girls, Marley and Harper, and his childhood sweetheart of 18 years and wife of 12 years, Erin. His dedication and love for his wife and children is unsurpassed. His drive for excitement and adventure lives on in his children, as he leaves this world a better place. He was forever testing the edges of comedy and pranks. “There he was – Making everyone around him – Glad to be Alive.”
Austin was 5’5” and an animal in strength and endurance. He was a top performer in his fire academy and would often go back on trials and events to encourage and press his classmates on. He was a dedicated team leader. He was driven to succeed, not only for himself but for those above or below him on a ladder and those in front or behind him in a flashover drill. Instructors would question him, because they were curious about his ability to collect dedicated followers and lead with song and dance. He was sincere, kind, gentle, strong, and simple. These are qualities the love of his life shared so deeply with him, and which he passed to his young daughters, who adored him.
There are stories upon stories and photographs—some quite unbelievable—that reveal Austin’s personality, joy, tension, struggle, victory, tenderness, compassion, loyalty, and conviction. He packed a great deal into 35 years of life, and he left his mark on so very many souls. An angel of earth in heaven!