Roll of Honor

Herbert T. Johnson

Herbert T. Johnson

  • Captain
  • Chicago Fire Department
  • Illinois
  • Age: 54
  • Year of Death: 2012

Captain Herbert T. Johnson died on November 2‚ 2012‚ at a working fire in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. Captain Johnson was affectionately called Herbie by all of his friends. Herbie was extremely entertaining to anyone who met him; he had a great sense of humor and was‚ without a doubt‚ larger than life. Herbie helped people see the funny side of almost every situation. Besides being a wonderful husband‚ Herbie was a loyal friend‚ brother‚ and father. With his gift of storytelling and genuine concern for everyone‚ he was the glue keeping his friends‚ family‚ and department together.

In 1980‚ Herbie began his 32-year career on the Chicago Fire Department‚ a career that saw Herbie work in almost every neighborhood in Chicago as he worked his way up the ranks. Herbie was a firefighter on Chicago’s west and south sides (Engine 117‚ Truck 48‚ Engine 62)‚ an engineer downtown‚ on the south side and across the street from Wrigley Field (District 1 Relief‚ Engine 100‚ Engine 78)‚ lieutenant on the north side and in Englewood (District 2 Relief‚ Tower Ladder 39)‚ and finally captain on Chicago’s south side (District 5 Relief) at the time of his death.

Herbie was humble about his accomplishments and awards. In 2007‚ Herbie received the Medal of Honor from the State of Illinois for a fire rescue of several children while working as a lieutenant on Engine 123. Herbie did not want a large group at this ceremony and only invited his immediate family to share this award with him. In many ways‚ he would downplay his accomplishments‚ although he would give generously of his time and talents to many friends and various causes without recognition.

Captain Herbert T. Johnson continuously demonstrated what it took to be a great leader in the Chicago Fire Department. Having worked his entire career in areas that had a high volume of fires and emergency medical calls‚ Herbie saw the value in training. Therefore‚ Herbie’s career included teaching over 1‚000 CFD recruits‚ an entire generation of Chicago firefighters‚ at the Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy. Herbie believed in providing mentoring to new firefighters‚ while in the academy and on the street‚ because he felt that to have an enormous impact on the lives of new firefighters and developing their firefighting skills was important to preserve the future of the Chicago Fire Department. People like Herbie are what makes the Chicago Fire Department the organization it is today.

Herbie is survived by his wife of 28 years‚ Susan; three children‚ Thomas (age 27)‚ Laurie (age 25)‚ Michael Mickey (age 20); and seven brothers and sisters‚ many of whom are police officers and members of the Chicago Fire Department.

  • (will not be published)

Memorial Wall

  1. My husband I appreciate your family scholarship. How can we express enough our gratitude for recognizing our son?. We can promise and will help to help another Ritaman and others in Herbie’s name. Joe and Colleen Marth

    – Colleen & Joe Marth