Michael J. Tluscik Sr.

Michael J. Tluscik Sr.

Submitted by his Family

Michael J. Tluscik‚ Sr. joined the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department in 1992. Mike served most of his career at station 14. The Fire Department was a big part of his life and he was proud to have been a part of the brotherhood.

Mike will be remembered by his witty sense of humor‚ his daily crossword puzzles not to mention a mean game of ping pong. Mike loved to spend time at the Lake of the Ozarks and was an amazing cook. He was also a skilled carpenter.

Mike saved many lives and has continued to give the gift of life after his death by being an organ donor for the Midwest Transplant Network.

Mike leaves four children‚ Stephanie‚ Michael Jr.‚ Kinsley‚ Holly and his mother Janet and many beloved family and friends.

Joseph Torkos

Joseph  Torkos

There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.

Jon C. Trainer

Jon C. Trainer

Submitted by his Family

Jon Trainer‚ a young man who found family wherever he traveled‚ who loved deeply and gave unselfishly‚ died on Tuesday‚ July 24‚ 2007‚ while on duty with the Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department.

Jon was born on December 10‚ 1968‚ to Jim and Judi Trainer of Mechanicsburg‚ Ohio. He grew up with his twin brother‚ Jay‚ and younger brother‚ Jeff. As his younger brother‚ I would like to tell you what made my brother‚ Jon‚ special.

Jon loved his ‘families.’ He loved strongly. He didn’t care about appearance or material things. He pretty much gave everything he had to his family. He would leave work at Honda of America and drive though the night to visit his nieces and nephew. He would work along side our father on whatever job dad decided needed to be done that day. He was a son that made his mother proud. He was a good big brother and a twin. Jon and his twin brother‚ Jay‚ had a bond that was unbreakable in life and undeniable after his death. He was a great cousin‚ nephew‚ and grandson.

When Jon talked of family‚ he didn’t just mean us‚ his blood relatives. Jon had a way of creating family wherever he went. He had his 4-H family of all the campers and counselors from throughout the years. He had his school family‚ the Mechanicsburg Class of 1987. Attending a small‚ rural school with the same people for thirteen years allows you to grow close. After high school‚ Jon left Mechanicsburg and went to OSU where he became involved in catering. Through this endeavor‚ Jon found his catering family. Whether it was the Cleveland Grand Prix or the US Open‚ you would find Jon working long‚ stressful hours to pull off the impossible and make it look easy. Hard work was a theme in my brother’s life that was a constant. After moving back to Mechanicsburg‚ Jon found his Honda (Adecco) family‚ as well. Although we do not know this family very well‚ it is easy to recognize how many lives Jon touched from the responses of the many people who have reached out and spoken of his kindness and understanding. Yes‚ my brother Jon loved family‚ but the family we have come here today to celebrate is Jon’s newest family‚ the Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department. It is a brotherhood that no one in my family truly understood until Jon’s death. Jon loved this family dearly. He loved the work. Jon wanted to learn as much as he could about fire fighting. He analyzed being a Fireman for Mechanicsburg and he worked every day to do his job better. He did not just do his job‚ he put hours of thought into it. He worked hard to improve the productivity and efficiency of the department. Fire fighting was not just something Jon did after work or on the side. It was what he loved and what he did best. Jon had found that thing we all look for our whole lives. He had found a job where he could combine his generosity‚ courage‚ faith‚ compassion‚ creativity‚ work ethic and sense of community. He found a way to put all of these things together in a perfect way. Jon became a Fireman. Jon loved being a Fireman.

Submitted by his Brother

Jon had served with Mechanicsburg Fire Department since December 2005.

He was a very dedicated Firefighter and family member. He survived by his mom Judi‚ his dad Jim‚ His twin brother Jay‚ and his younger brother Jeff. He also survived by his 3 nieces and his 3 nephews.

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Steven Eric Vanderpool Jr.

Steven Eric Vanderpool Jr.

Submitted by his Wife

Eric was extremely dedicated! The fire department was his life. He made sure they were ready for the next call and was always the last to leave. They never had to ask for a volunteer‚ because he was always there‚ ready to do anything. It gave him a purpose in life and made him feel proud. He would swell with pride every time he put on his uniform. He was on top of the world when he was on the job.

In addition to his service with White Oak‚ he was also involved with the West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department‚ the Caney Valley Volunteer Fire Department‚ and the Morgan County Volunteer Rescue Squad. West Liberty Chief John Conley said‚ ‘Eric was always willing and ready to do anything. He was glad to be in the background. He didn’t need to be in the spotlight.’

At home‚ Eric‚ as he was always called‚ was a dedicated husband to his wife‚ Misty‚ and a beloved son to his mom and dad. Although they were his grandparents‚ he loved them as much as anyone ever could. Having been married for three years‚ he and Misty were trying to have a family. They were foster parents who were waiting on a child they could love as their own and for whom they could provide a forever home.

Eric was just as dedicated to his family as he was to his fire department. He helped his mother-in-law build a home from the ground up‚ inside and out. He was a gifted handyman. Being a jack of all trades‚ he was always helping his extended family with plumbing‚ electrical‚ or building. He enjoyed building computers and was a Ham radio operator. He was very passionate about carpentry and electrical work. Most of all‚ he was a proud firefighter; firefighting was his passion.

The day that he wrecked changed his family forever. It is like the heart had been taken out and misplaced. He was in a coma for 14 days before he passed away. He was surrounded by family and friends‚ with his wife at his bedside and members of the fire department there. You could tell he was a vital part of his community and family.

Jeremy W. Wach

Jeremy W. Wach

Submitted by his Wife

Jeremy Wayne Wach‚ 31 was killed in the early morning hours of November 5‚ 2007. He and other members of the Wymore Volunteer Fire Department as well as the Blue Springs Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire. Shortly after Jeremy and two other firemen entered the house‚ the roof collapsed trapping him.

Jeremy joined the Wymore Department in the spring of 2003. He was so excited to become a member‚ as it was a life long dream of his. He loved the thought of being able to help others and the community. He would respond to every fire and rescue call that he could. He took every call very seriously and he loved the adrenaline rush. More than once our plans were changed when a call came out‚ that’s how dedicated he was.

Jeremy was a big man with an even bigger heart. He felt his duty was to help serve and protect all others. His full time job was as a Gage County Sheriff’s deputy and Jail Director. He graduated from the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center as a certified law enforcement officer in April of 2005. He had wanted to be a law enforcement officer his entire life and was so proud to get the opportunity. He was dedicated to his job‚ which included long‚ unpredictable hours‚ and being on call 24/7.

Jeremy loved people and being able to help people. He considered all the members of the fire department and the sheriff’s office to be his extended family. He would do anything and everything for his friends and family. He was always willing to help others in any way possible.

Jeremy enjoyed hunting‚ fishing‚ watching NASCAR‚ watching football‚ cooking and baking‚ spending time with his family and friends‚ and most importantly spending time with his two young sons‚ Joseph and Matthew. He loved teaching them new things and helping them experience the world. Jeremy and I got to spend 5 wonderful years together and he made every moment absolutely memorable.

Throughout Jeremy’s life and career he encountered numerous people and he touched the lives of so many of them. His family still hears stories or receives notes about the wonderful things he did for others that we were unaware of. He truly lived every moment of his life as though it could be his last and he lived his life for others.

Jeremy is survived by his wife Melissa‚ sons Joseph and Matthew‚ his mother Debbie‚ brother Jake‚ step-brothers Ron and Rick‚ as well as a large extended family and many friends. We all feel so blessed to have had him in our lives. We miss him greatly and love him deeply. He has always been our Hero!

Brandon Michael ‘Buddy’ Whimple

Brandon Michael 'Buddy' Whimple

Submitted by his Mother

Brandon Whimple‚ a 19 year old full of life and energy‚ died on Saturday March 24‚ 2007 when the Tanker truck he was a passenger in lost control and flipped killing both he and the driver‚ as they were responding to the second of two structure fires that day.

Brandon was born in Jacksonville North Carolina on November 30‚ 1987 to Richard K. Whimple and Lisa M. Whimple. An auto mechanic and a volunteer fireman‚ Brandon spent most of his time working on cars‚ spending time with his family and volunteering as much time as he could at the fire station.

Curiosity for the fire service came partly because he constantly saw his dad and brother rush out of the house and respond to the station for call after call. His curiosity got the best of him‚ and he eventually joined Rhodestown Volunteer Fire Department on April 18‚ 2005‚ then Brandon had the ability to experience what it meant to be a fireman.

March 24th‚ of 2007 was a day of accomplishment for Brandon. That morning proved rewarding for Brandon as he got to enter his first structure fire as a firefighter. Other firefighters on scene that day rated his performance as ‘admirable’ and some say he looked as if he was on ‘cloud 9’ and that his movements looked almost ‘angelic’ while taking off his pack after coming out of the structure. That same morning he was requested to drive for the first time during training. This was a goal he had wanted to reach for sometime. Brent‚ his brother‚ described Brandon’s reaction as ‘beaming and bragging that he was able to do it first‚ and he couldn’t wait to tell Dad what he had done’.

As we remember Brandon stumbling out the door‚ falling down the stairs finally rolling out into the yard to go to a call all battered and bruised‚ we are reminded of the dedication‚ passion and love that Brandon had for the fire service.

As his family‚ some of our fondest memories will be those of watching him play soccer‚ taking his brothers mudding in his truck‚ and riding his brothers on the go-cart while they were desperately hanging on‚ but as parents of Brandon‚ our fondest memories will be the first day of school‚ the first step‚ and many other firsts until finally growing into a young man seeking his own path in life. The one thing that will be remembered the most by family and friends will be Brandon’s amazing smile.

Matthew Richard Will

Matthew Richard Will

Matt married Diana in 1997. They had two kids‚ Trysten and Elsie.

The Will’s moved to Hollister in 2003 and became part of the CalFire family. His humor was contagious-no one was spared. At 6′ tall‚ 240 pounds‚ Matt often mentioned his ‘girlish figure’.

On October 8‚ 2007 Matt was called to a fire in Monterey‚ CA. When Matt’s dozer rolled‚ he sustained head injuries and died the next day.

Matt’s family is proud that many of his organs were donated. On the job‚ he saved property and lives; later‚ he gave new life to 5 others.

Matt is missed every minute of every day by his wife‚ children‚ family‚ friends‚ co-workers‚ and a world that needs laughter and heroics.

Billy H. Williams

Billy H. Williams

There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.

Kevin Glenn Williams

Kevin Glenn Williams

Submitted by his Sister

Kevin Glenn Williams
Noonday Volunteer Fire Department – Texas
Classification: Volunteer
Rank: Captain
Date of Death: August 3‚ 2007
Age: 42

It took a year to get Kevin to attend a meeting at the Noonday Volunteer Fire Department. After one meeting‚ Kevin knew fire fighting was his calling. Kevin joined the fire department in January of 2006 and was voted Rookie of the Year. In 2007‚ he made Captain. He was so proud and honored to be given this responsibility. He had found his niche and liked helping those in crisis.

On August 3‚ 2007‚ Kevin responded to a house fire. Once the fire was extinguished‚ Kevin and his partner and friend‚ Austin Cheek‚ entered the home to put out the ‘hot spots.’ A routine procedure became a disaster when an unexpected flashover occurred taking the lives of our Kevin and Austin.

Kevin was the father of two children. His son‚ LCpl Schyler Williams‚ is a United States Marine currently serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. His daughter‚ Amanda‚ is a freshman in college pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. His four-footed third child‚ Lucky Dog‚ currently resides with me. Kevin also left behind his mom and dad‚ two older brothers‚ and me – his younger sister. In addition to his family‚ he left behind many‚ many‚ friends and loved ones. Kevin had a strong faith in God and currently resides with his Heavenly Father.

Kevin is best remembered for his eagerness and enthusiasm when responding to a call. His adrenaline always caused him to pass right by the fire department; he was often observed hitting the brakes‚ throwing the truck into reverse and backing up to the fire department driveway. He was also known for his perpetual singing and humming. His happiness was contagious to all those around him. He worked many hours at the fire department on fund-raisers such as building the annual Haunted House as well as setting up for the NVFD Open House. He was always outside during the Open House letting children hold the fire hose and he demonstrated the use of the Jaws of Life for those in attendance. Kevin was always eager and willing to help not only at fire station activities but those in need as well. He would quite literally give you the shirt off of his back. That was Kevin. A man of integrity who loved others more than himself – he loved his country‚ having served in Operation Desert Storm in the Air Force‚ his family‚ and most importantly‚ his Lord.

I will never forget the morning my parents came to tell me my brother was gone. I always thought my brother‚ my best friend ever‚ would be here to grow old with me. My father is quoted as saying‚ ‘You never think anything will ever happen to your kid. It never occurred to me that he would go into a fire and never come out.’ Kevin is greatly missed by his family and friends. We are left with our memories and thankfulness to the Lord for the time we had with him and for the many ways he touched each of our lives.

Racheal Michelle Wilson

Racheal Michelle Wilson

Submitted by her Mother

Racheal Michelle Wilson
Baltimore City Fire Department – Maryland
Classification: Career
Rank: Firefighter/Paramedic Apprentice
Date of Death: February 9‚ 2007
Age: 29

Racheal Wilson was a good woman who was respected. She died on Friday‚ February 9‚ 2007‚ while in training at the Baltimore Fire Academy in Baltimore‚ Maryland‚ at the age of 29.

Racheal was born on December 27‚ 1977‚ in Pineville‚ Louisiana‚ to Virginia Slaughter. She attended public school in Jena‚ Louisiana. Always smiling‚ her cheerful attitude and outgoing personality made many‚ many friends for Racheal. Everyone knew and enjoyed her smiling friendliness.

Racheal had a wonderful I can do this attitude. She loved a challenge and was involved in many different kinds of activities throughout her childhood and school years. With a strong determination‚ she pursued many interests. She moved to Baltimore‚ Maryland‚ in 1997.

Racheal was interested in becoming a firefighter or policewoman at a very early age‚ and began nurturing herself by working in administration with many departments in the City of Baltimore and the Vulcan Blazers‚ Inc. From there‚ her love for being a firefighter took off.

During her tenure at the academy in 2007‚ Racheal became well known with her peers and was always the one to try to assist anyone to do what needs to be done. Her motto was‚ If I can do it‚ you can do it‚ too. She wanted to make it safe for everyone. It was her passion to make sure her colleagues understood the risks that were associated with the jobs. Racheal said‚ One day‚ I am going to be the fire marshal of the fire department.

Racheal was a caring‚ friendly‚ reliable person‚ always smiling‚ and was full of fun. She was a very active member of the House of Judah and served in mission during her tenure there. She was a Christian woman who loved God‚ her family‚ and her community. Racheal had a beautiful voice‚ loved to sing‚ and was committed to helping others. She had a talent to help others and gave her life in the line of duty. We applaud her courage and dedication. We are assured that this loss will be felt by all of those who had the privilege of knowing Racheal during her earthly journey.

Racheal is survived by her son‚ Cameron Wilson; her daughter‚ Princess PJ Davis; her mother and stepfather‚ Virginia and Ambrose Slaughter; her brother‚ Broaderick Slaughter; her loving fianc_ and best friend‚ Larry C. Davis‚ Jr.; and many loving friends.