Homer W. Harrell Jr.
- Orange City Fire Department
- Age: 45
- Year of Death: 2014
“Made in Spain” was always an inside running joke between a man and his father. The man was Lt. Homer William “JR” Harrell Jr. He was born at the U.S. Navy Base in Rota, Spain. He traveled all over the world, from Spain to Iceland, with his parents, growing up on different Navy bases before finally settling down in central Florida in 1982.
Growing up, he was an avid baseball player throughout high school. Lt. Harrell attended Winter Park High School in central Florida. After high school he had two children, Cory and Cassie. Along with his love for his children, he found his career passion—helping others in need.
JR was a lifelong advocate of helping the community and providing emergency patient care. He worked for the past 21 years in the emergency medical field as a paramedic and firefighter, starting with Life Fleet Atlantic Ambulance for the inception of his career in 1992. He then moved on to EVAC ambulance in Volusia County. In 2003, he found a home with his new family, the Orange City Fire Department. JR was a key member of this small department, watching it grow from one to three stations. He took charge of the developing ALS program and worked to get grants for the latest equipment. He oversaw EMS as a battalion chief until the lure of getting back on the engine brought him back to his passion, helping citizens. He spent his last three years as an engine company lieutenant, where he shared a wealth of information with the younger firefighters and many volunteers.
Lt. Harrell was always trying to instill the passion he felt for EMS to all others he came in contact with and was the consummate instructor. JR was an outstanding EMT/paramedic instructor at Daytona State College. He assembled an impressive collection of reference books that he studied to ensure that any questions the students asked, he would be able to give them the correct answer and explain it in terms that they could understand. Lt. Harrell’s legacy is that years from now, citizens will be saved due to the level of instruction that he passed on to his students.
Lt. Harrell was also a good friend to many people, always helping others that needed an extra hand. JR was an avid sportsman, and he would enter local bass fishing tournaments with his father. He also enjoyed hunting, the outdoors, and was constantly doing activities with his friends. He was a good bowler and had a love/hate relationship with the golf course.
He is survived by his parents, Bill and Alice Harrell; his children, Cory and Cassie Harrell; his sister, Tanya Parker; and his fiancée, Angie Paige.