Shadd began his training as a firefighter while in high school. His first fire response was to a plane crash that took the pilot’s life. That fiery death had a powerful impact on his desire to become a competent and knowledgeable responder. Shadd’s legacy is a passion for teaching and demonstrating proper rescue techniques and personal safety to emergency services personnel and his partners in adventure. He was known for his positive attitude and courage in the face of adversity. From the day he was diagnosed with job-related cancer until the day he left us, he maintained a determination to fight. During his final months, he regained a degree of health that allowed him to walk without the assistance of oxygen or a walker. With family, Shadd enjoyed the winter desert, visited the Grand Canyon, and slowly hiked the Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial Trail.
Shadd held a B.S. in business/economics from Eastern Oregon State College. He pursued a degree in fire science, starting at Aims Community College in Colorado, and finishing at San Juan College after he was hired by the Farmington Fire Department. As a member of the Technical Rescue Team, Shadd taught skills with San Juan College and Arroyo Rescue. He was a member of the Wildland Team, NM Urban Search & Rescue, where he was deployed following Hurricane Katrina, and the Surface Water Oil Spill Emergency Response Team. Shadd was a Rescue 3 International Instructor.
Following Shadd’s passing, his Union, Local 2850, created a graphic with crossed rowing oars, the Maltese Cross, and the words “Shaddow Warrior.” Union members constructed a memorial in a city park near the location where whitewater rescue training takes place, as a reminder to all who visit that safety is of primary importance.
Shadd leaves his younger brother, Tobi, whose family–wife Alison and daughters Grace and Emery–he cherished with all his heart. Shadd’s cousin, Ryan, also a firefighter, and his family–wife Jodi and children Hailey and Aiden–are nestled in his huge heart. He always made time to join his father, Jerry, and mother, Joan, on backcountry adventures in the mountains, deserts, and river canyons of the west. His family encompassed his FFD brothers and families in his neighborhood. Many children considered him an enthusiastic and humorous uncle who took the time to really notice their achievements.
Shadd would want his struggle with cancer to inform the fire service to take every necessary precaution to protect every firefighter.