Captain Ivan LaGrand was a dedicated public servant for his entire adult life to the Southeast Missouri community. Like his father and godfather before him, public safety was his passion. In 1987, at a mere 20 years old, Captain LaGrand started his career in emergency medical services with North Scott Ambulance District and worked as a full-time paramedic until 2005. He was then hired as a full-time firefighter/paramedic for the Cape Girardeau Fire Department in 1996, serving the community he was raised in. His desire to serve did not stop there. After moving just south of Cape Girardeau, he joined his local volunteer fire department, NBC Fire Protection District, in 1990 and rose through the ranks, retiring as chief of the department in 2012.
In 2000, Captain LaGrand also played a pivotal role in educating young minds to become emergency medical technicians as an instructor for the Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau. His commitment to molding the minds of new EMTs through the program gave many a pathway into the medical field, and many went on to become paramedics, nurses, and even doctors. In 2001, he felt the calling to become a part-time DPS officer with SEMO University, following in his father’s and godfather’s footsteps. Captain LaGrand retired from SEMO DPS and the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in 2011, after being promoted to fire inspector. Captain LaGrand was a founding member of Seniors and Firefighters Engaged (S.A.F.E.) that assisted promoting fire safety within our senior community. Ivan was a member of the Missouri Fire Marshals Association and the Jefferson County Fire Marshal’s Association. He served as a reserve deputy and emergency dispatcher for the Bollinger County Sheriff’s Office until his untimely passing.
Captain LaGrand is remembered for his gruff personality and dry sense of humor. Although he was serious about his work and saw the value in fire prevention and education in the Cape Girardeau community, he loved to listen or tell a good joke. His thunderous laughter made those who were near him smile. Just a few years before his passing, Ivan bought a mini farm and enjoyed riding horses, playing with his dogs, Bo and Truckie, shooting his arsenal of weapons, and taking a ride in his Jeep. He enjoyed the peace and tranquility the rural area had to offer.
Ivan touched many lives in his short time with us in this world. We are all thankful for the opportunity to have him as our caregiver, coworker, family, and friend.