Submitted by his mother
Justin P. Faur‚ 23‚ a firefighter with the Andover Volunteer Fire Department‚ was attempting to rescue his employer from a liquid manure pit when he was overcome by toxic manure gases. Justin and Dwight Johnson‚ a Clinton County cattle farmer‚ were flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals where they both remained hospitalized until their deaths.
On April 16‚ 2005‚ Dwight Johnson of Johnson Valley Beef‚ and Justin were in the process of draining the pit’s liquefied manure. There were only a few more loads left when Justin went to get a hair cut. When he returned to the Johnson farm he discovered Dwight face down in the liquid manure. Justin ran to the house and told the family to call 911. He then ran back out and then jumped into the underground pit to rescue Dwight and was also overcome by the fumes. Dwight passed away on April 20‚ 2005. Justin later passed away on April 30‚ 2005.
Justin is thought of as a hero in our area by giving his life to try and save another. Many friends both older and younger miss his smile and charm. He was a member of 4-H showing club calves around the area and his high school FFA chapter. He enjoyed high school basketball‚ 4 wheeling and snowmobiling and was an avid collector of small farm machinery and small semi-tractors. As a small child he would dress up as a fireman and he became that fireman on Oct. 9‚ 2002. Justin lived to respond to the fire calls and could not wait to help people.
On 07/06/2006 Justin became a recipient of the Carnegie Medal for Heroism. The medal is given to those who risk their lives to an extraodinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.
Submitted by his wife
Jim Richards was a wonderful husband of 20 years and father of our two children‚ Jessica and Joshua. He could always be found at school functions watching them proudly or cheering them on. One of his proudest moments came just 2 weeks before his death when he escorted his daughter‚ as she became Homecoming Queen at her High School football game. And again just a week before his death when Josh shot his first Canadian goose in our front yard while Jim worked in the garden.
One of Jim’s and my biggest accomplishments was the remodeling and construction of our family craft shop. Countless hours with family and friends were spent tearing down old buildings‚ cleaning up the lumber and building what in now Kountry Krafts. We have wonderful memories of times spent together doing this project.
Jim was also the owner/operator of his business‚ Richards Repair. This business of 29 years was a shop for area farmers to bring their equipment for repairs. Jim would weld‚ fix or remake farm machinery for them. Knowing all his customers personally and their families was what Jim enjoyed most about his job.
I first met Jim when we were both taking a first responders class. Jim with the Oran Fire Department and I with the Westgate First Responders. We both believed in helping our communities as much as possible. Jim served on the Oran Fire Dept. for 29 years. Three years as Fire Chief and 18 years as assistant cheif. Jim enjoyed the fire department‚ the men on this department are not just his very best friends but also a brother and a nephew. He cared deeply for these people. They were family.
The community was Jim’s life. He was a lifetime member of the IC Church in Fairbank‚ Iowa. He was very active in the FFA program at the Wapsie Valley High School where our kids attend. He helped with the construction of the greenhouse and chaperoned countless trips for the kids. Volunteering was a big part of Jim’s life and the fire department was the biggest. Jim could be found every year flipping pancakes at the annual First Responders breakfast of helping with table clean up at the steak fry. Dealing at the Fireman’s Stag or whatever and whenever an extra hand was needed. Most of these time we would show up as a family to help. He taught his children very young to pitch in and help out and to be volunteers in life. He taught them that not everything had to be done for money and that you would be a better person by helping others.
Jim loved reading‚ fishing and spending time with his family. We loved the food‚ the talks‚ and the laughs. The memories! He loved us all as we loved him.
Jim died on October 20th of 2003. He died just a few miles from our home of a fatal heart attack. He was fighting a field and structure fire on a neighbors farm with wind gusts of 30 m.p.h.. He was 49 years old.
Jim was a good man‚ a wonderful husband‚ father and friend. He was the center of our lives and is missed very‚ very much.
There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.
Submitted by his children
Mike was a ‘True American Hero.’ He never wanted to be recognized for all the wonderful things he did. Mike always stood up for what he believed in. He was always honest‚ even though the other person did not want to hear what he had to say. Mike always followed the rules‚ unless someone gave him a direct order to do otherwise.
Mike always put others before himself. He always talked about his family which he was so proud of. Mike stood by them through thick and thin. He gave his children unconditional love. He taught them to respect other people for who they are. Mike explained to them to love life because life is short. He became their best friend. He loved them for who they are. He was so excited about his little grandson‚ who bore his name. He took time out of his busy life to spend lots of loving moments with him.
Mike always went the extra mile at home and at work. He kept track of every run he had ever been on. He stopped by some of the houses while he was out for his morning jog and checked on patients to make sure they were doing all right. He never passed up the opportunity to play in the yearly basketball game with the Special Olympics. Mike always enjoyed carrying the boot and receiving donations for MDA.
Mike was a veteran at the fire department for twenty-seven years. He was still able to keep up with some of the younger guys. He was able to give the younger firemen the knowledge he had learned over the years. He was very respected for that.
Mike was taken from us at a moment in time when his family and friends were so proud of who he was. He will always remain alive in our hearts as a ‘True American Hero.’
Dale F. Simpson‚ 38‚ firefighter‚ Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department‚ died April 2‚ 2001‚ after helping to extinguish a fire. He was the chairman of the department’s Muster Committee‚ an annual gathering of antique fire equipment and display of firefighting techniques. He was in charge of the department’s EMT certification and helped raise funds for the purchase of a thermal imaging camera.
The son of a former department chief‚ as a child Simpson often rode his bike to the station when his dad was going out on a call. Simpson worked at Mercy Health Center.
Douglas G. Stevens Iowa Story City/Lafayette Township Volunteer Fire Department Year of Death: 2000 Douglas G. Stevens‚ 42‚ a seven-year volunteer and the Story City Lafayette Township Fire Department’s training officer‚ died on February 6‚ 2000‚ of a heart attack while performing overhaul operations at a house fire. The Iowa Senate honored him for courage‚ heroism and self-sacrifice in the line of duty.
James Ted Griffith‚ 25‚ a volunteer with the Winterset Fire Department‚ died on April 7‚ 2000‚ when a fuel tank exploded at a grass fire. He was named his department’s ‘Firefighter of the Year’ in 1999 and his county’s ‘Citizen of the Year’ in 2000. Griffith was a third-generation firefighter.
Nathan R. Tuck‚ 39‚ a firefighter with the Keokuk Fire Department‚ died on December 22‚ 1999‚ when a flashover trapped him and two other firefighters as they tried to rescue children from a structure fire. A four-year member of the department‚ Tuck devoted much of his spare time to working with youth in the community. He coached high school and middle school students in many sports and was a certified lifesaver at the YMCA.
Jason L. Bitting‚ 29‚ a career firefighter with the Keokuk Fire Department‚ died on December 22‚ 1999‚ when a flashover trapped him and two other firefighters as they tried to rescue children from a structure fire. All three firefighters and three of the children died. Bitting‚ a six-year veteran and certified first responder‚ helped with fire safety programs for children.