Eugene W. Blackmon Jr. was born on July 31, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up on the south side of Chicago where he attended Burnside Elementary and Harlan High Schools. Even at an early age, he was an individual who shared his love of life and adventure with everyone who came in contact with him. After high school, Eugene attended Olive Harvey Junior College and Chicago State University.
Eugene joined the Chicago Fire Department in February 1987. His outgoing and spirited personality and his dedication to service and giving back would prove to be a perfect match for his chosen profession. He began his exciting and rewarding career with the Chicago Fire Department at Engine 5. This afforded him the opportunity to apply the skills and vast amount of knowledge he gained at the Fire Academy to real life situations. In August 1988, Eugene began another phase of his fire career at Truck 4. He was fortunate to be paired with a group of Fire Fighters who readily shared their knowledge and experience with this young candidate. He was diligent and soaked up everything that was offered to him soon proving himself to be an exceptional as well as a knowledgeable Fire Fighter.
Eugene’s easy going spirit, as well as, his vivacious and charismatic personality made him a prime candidate to become an instructor at the Chicago Fire Academy. After completing this assignment, he joined Squad 5 where he was assigned until his death, May 19, 1998. In honor of that heroic day the CFD created the Eugene Blackmon Award, which is presented to a firefighter candidate at graduation and dedicated the Fast Rescue Boat 6-8-8 in his name.
Eugene’s zest for life still lives on in the memories of those who knew and loved him. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for the profession which he so loved and will forever hold a special place in the hearts of his family, friends and colleagues.