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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 26
Year of Death: 2002

Shane M. Kelly

Submitted by his wife

Shane M. Kelly was a 26 year old firefighter/ EMT. On June 8th Shane and his wife Rachel were traveling on the Florida turnpike when they came across a couple trapped in their crashed and overturned vehicle. Working diligently alongside others through a torrential rainstorm he attempted to free the injured newlywed couple in the crushed vehicle. A tractor trailer lost control and crashed into the rescuers‚ killing Shane and a local doctor and injuring others.

Shane did not receive this call over the radio‚ it was not in his jurisdiction‚ nor was he on the clock. That is what makes Shane’s story unique‚ the absence of these elements that make him a hero. The forces that prompted him to pull off the road were not driven by a paycheck or obligation‚ but a deeper sense of duty. Shane died like he lived: Helping Others.

Shane was Vice-President of Union Local 3476‚ and when not at the fire department he spent most of his free time in the outdoors hunting and fishing with friends and his father-in-law.

Because of his heroic actions Shane has been given numerous awards and honors posthumously:

Florida Fire Chiefs Award of Excellence in EMT/Rescue
Department of Florida VFW Outstanding Firefighter
City of Oviedo Firefighter of the Year
City of Oviedo Medal of Valor
Sumter County Medal of Honor
IAFF Medal of Honor
American Red Cross Certificate of Recognition for Extraordinary Personal Action
The city of Oviedo has named a park after Shane
A scholarship fund has been established in his name
Letters of recognition from governor Jeb Bush and many state and local political leaders

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  1. I remember the story and even though I never met Shane I knew the doctor he was with and every time my daughter steps onto the Shane Kelley Soccer Field I remember how brave those two me were and I think of both wives who had to witness the events. My hearts go out to the families even after 6 years. Shane will never be forgotten nor will his service.

    – Kerry Rizza
  2. I did not know Shane, but heard of the tragic accident. Just saw this page and felt compelled to to comment and say a prayer.

    This story touches my heart in a special way because, my grandfather was a firefighter also. Unfortunately, he lost his life as the result of an accident while on duty. He was my hero and so are all the others like him. May God continue to provide comfort to Shane’s family. I live across the street from Shane Kelly Soccer Field. Shane’s courageous legacy will live on!

    Karen Tucker
  3. I didn’t personally know Shane or the Dr that was killed on the vehicle accident. But I was on scene working with the fire dept that responded. It is a day I will never forget. Godspeed.

    – Ginger
  4. The day I will never forget. I was a Battalion Chief with Sumter County. I was also first on scene and command. By the time we cleared, I had made up my mind that this was my last call. It ripped the heart from my chest, as it’s doing again now. I continued on the job, but everyone on that call had a small helmet sticker they wore on their helmet with number 56 on the shield.

    – George m Jacobs
  5. I was a Battalion Chief in Sumter County at the time. First on scene and Incident Command. This call ripped my heart out of my chest, and doing it again now. His wife, the Doctors wife and children. MCI 3 the amount of out of state firefighter, nurses and a Doctor that was killed of requiring air support was unprecedented for us. 5 birds making round trips. So many children wanting their Mama or Dads. All of them trauma alerts. I truly don’t have a count of the transports. I know when I cleared my mode was made up, this was my last call. I did not follow through with ending my career. But everyone in my Battalion had a helmet sticker they wore on their helmet with the number 56 on it.

    – George M Jacobs