Edwin King

Edwin  King

Submitted by his daughter

Chief Ed King died September 21‚ 2005‚ on a routine controlled burn. In December of 1973‚ he began volunteering at District 7 in Turon‚ Kansas. He was Assistant Chief for 20+ years‚ dad‚ papa‚ step-dad‚ brother‚ uncle‚ and friend. My dad was a man that a small community of 450 depended on. He was‚ as they called him around town‚ Mr. Fix-It. He was a man of all trades and his hands showed it. His big hands always appeared callused and abused. I always wondered why. As I grew and the years went by‚ I have come to realize why they were the way they were. After his passing‚ I couldn’t help but hold his hands and try to memorize them. I never want to forget them and all that they stood for. He was a man of honor and respect.

My dad was the kind of guy that could never sit still. He was always working or helping others. He loved being involved in the local fire department and took great pride in it. I think that it made him feel like he was doing his part. He always went above and beyond in everything that he did. In his time aside from working he enjoyed hunting‚ camping‚ spending time with family‚ friends and picking up his grandson‚ Colby‚ for occasional weekend visits. Colby and him were the best of friends and treasured every moment they were with one another. He has two other grandchildren who were not quite old enough to stay overnight with papa yet‚ but were looking forward to the chance and I know that dad was‚ too.

My dad was an amazing person who anyone would have been lucky to call a friend. We miss him so very much and will forever remember him. The small community of Turon‚ family and friends will never forget what an awesome person he was and how he dedicated his life to others. My dad has touched my life in so many different ways. In my times of feeling cheated from losing him‚ I have to keep in mind that God has blessed me and my families lives with the opportunity to know and love him. Our lives will forever be changed. I love you dad. We love and miss you papa.

Submitted by a friend

Edwin King was a volunteer for about 30 years – Assistant Chief for 15 years and Chief for 1. He was a bus driver for USD 310 and owner of Kings Body Shop.

He was killed in a head-on accident between himself and the Assistant Chief on 9-21-05 on the way to a control burn that got out of control. Edwin King was pronounced dead at the scene. It was a shock to a small town of 450 people. He is greatly missed.

Jared Michael Moore

Jared Michael Moore

Submitted by his mother

Jared had wanted to be a firefighter since the age of three. His dream was realized when he joined the Fairmount Township Department in August 2004. He was lost while responding to a call December 29‚ 2004.

Jared was always having fun‚ always smiling. He loved helping people; he often stopped to help those with car trouble on the side of the road‚ paid for fellow students’ lunches when they had no money. He was genuinely a kind‚ thoughtful young man. His aunt remarked he was the only teenager she had ever known who thought to tell you Thank you for cooking his supper.

Jared had learning disabilities‚ making school a struggle. When he graduated last year‚ we were as excited and relieved as he was. Although he finished through an alternative program‚ he graduated with honors.

Soon after joining the Fairmount Department‚ he decided he wanted to make firefighting his lifelong profession. He had planned to get his Fire I and Fire II training through the department and then to enroll in the local community college to get his Fire Science degree.

On December 25‚ 2004‚ he stopped by the fire department in his family’s hometown of Harrison‚ AR to trade patches. They told him they were in the process of hiring. He was so very excited at the thought of getting on a paid department. He spent his last day on earth filling out the application. All of his grandparents and an aunt had offered to let him live with them if he got on the Harrison Department.

Jared was a hard worker who found joy in helping others. As a child he mowed grass in the summer and shoveled drives in the winter for our elderly neighbors. He made friends with everyone from the toddlers to the elderly‚ no matter where we lived. He was fun-loving and athletic. Jared didn’t hold grudges; he said life was too short. He remained friends with every girl he ever dated.

Jared was also the typical middle child. He was the mediator but also our wild child. He was a risk taker and a daredevil. He absolutely loved crotch-rocket motorcycles. He said riding the fire truck was the only thing he’d ever found as much fun as his motorcycles. We often worried about his riding them‚ but he assured us living life to its fullest was far more important than living to an old age.

Although Jared’s time as a firefighter was short‚ we are thankful he was able to know the honor and privilege of serving on his department in his short life. It gave him direction‚ camaraderie‚ maturity‚ and pride – both in this community and in himself. He loved his fellow firefighters‚ life‚ family‚ and he loved his department.

Jared is survived by his parents‚ Patrick and Marlene‚ Basehor‚ KS‚ his sister Samantha‚ also of the home‚ and his older brother‚ Rick of Shawnee‚ KS. He was laid to rest in Harrison‚ AR‚ with both the Fairmount Township Fire Department and the Harrison Department assisting with the funeral. Fairmount also honored him with a beautiful firefighter’s memorial in Kansas City‚ KS.

Cordell W. French

Cordell W. French

Submitted by his mother

Cordell W. ‘Cory’ French‚ 44‚ volunteer firefighter and paramedic‚ Towanda Volunteer Fire Department and Butler County EMS‚ Towanda‚ died August 28‚ 2004‚ of a cardiac arrest following training exercises. He joined the Towanda Volunteer Fire and EMS on November 28‚ 1995 and served as EMS captain. He was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 2001‚ and Medical Responder of the Year for Towanda Volunteer Fire Rescue in 1999‚ 2000‚ and 2001‚ and answered more than 480 calls as a volunteer.

Towanda’s Fire Chief T. C. Pyle said of Cory‚ ‘He was always a hard worker. He was dedicated to the EMS side of the fire service. He was always ready to go. He was always smiling and he had a great sense of humor. When situations got tense he would be the first to crack a joke to ease the moment.’ Prior to moving to Towanda‚ Cory served several years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in Dodge City‚ KS.

‘Cory’ was owner and operator of Augusta Aviation Maintenance in Augusta. In announcing his death‚ the headline in the Wichita Eagle newspaper read ‘Towanda man excelled as an aircraft mechanic‚ volunteer and friend.’ Nancy Moody‚ airport manager at Augusta said‚ ‘He always had a smile. He was a blast to work around. He was a great storyteller and he had some story to share on any topic. He was laid back‚ but never lax. People had real faith in him and his skill.’

‘Cory’ was survived by his wife‚ Kelly; his children‚ Tara and Kyle; brothers‚ Cameron and Mitchell; and parents‚ Don and Jeanene French.

Gary D. Boyert

Gary D. Boyert

Submitted by his family and brother firefighters

When I think of Gary‚ all I see is a smile. He was always smiling and always laughing. Gary knew life was precious and he did his best to live his life to the fullest. Of course‚ this required that he help anyone whom he thought needed it. I was one of those people on a number of occasions. Some of us never understood his way of love‚ which was just to give and give and give; and when someone did something really horrible to him‚ he gave some more.

I believe I owe a lot of where my life has led me to Gary. I went to high school expecting to run into Gary at events‚ knowing he would have something funny to say or at least a good story. After I went away to college and came back‚ not knowing what to do with life‚ I’m pretty sure my chosen career is due‚ mostly‚ if not entirely‚ to Gary. I didn’t know any other firefighters other than Gary. I believe his outlook on life was due in part because the fire department allowed him to help even more people and to see the results of doing so. I strive in my life to see how fun it is to live. Gary showed everyone exactly how that was done.

My heart is heavy with sadness for the loss of a wonderful person. Gary did exactly what God wanted. Gary tried to make the world a better place. God now has a little more help in heaven and we all know Gary is still smiling and helping anyone up there who needs it.

Thank all of you for sharing Gary’s time with me. God be with us all.

Josh Huyett and family

My wife and I lost a friend today
And we don’t know why.
And as we sat their in disbelief and shock‚
The tears rolled down from our eyes.

I had no answer to her question‚
When she tearfully said‚
Why does God always take the good ones‚
And leave us with the bad.

Because you see‚ Gary was always there‚
With a smile or a laugh or to lend a helping hand‚
He didn’t claim to have all the answers‚
But‚ he always tried to understand.

Gary‚ you will be missed‚ but surely not forgotten‚
Because‚ whenever we see a fire truck‚
or a firefighter dressed in blue‚
We will bow our heads in reference‚
And yes – we’ll think of you.

– Brothers in the Flame

Mark David Mansfield

Mark David Mansfield

Submitted by his mother

Mark Mansfield‚ 30 years old‚ was a full-time fire fighter/EMT for the City of Overland Park‚ Kansas for over 10 years and on his day off had another job as a Police officer for the City of Roeland Park‚ Kansas. He even designed the graphics for the patrol cars. He was respected and commended by his peers for his ability to remain calm in stressful situations while on duty‚ Mark died on April 6‚ 2002 at Station One in Overland Park. Mark was the picture of health‚ watched his diet‚ exercised regularly and had numerous physicals for both the fire and police departments. Mark did not respond to drive his truck for an overnight call and was found unresponsive in his bunk. The paramedics and emergency room staff were unable to resuscitate him. After an extensive autopsy and 2 months of testing on his heart it was determined that Mark suffered a fatal heart arrhythmia due to a mitral valve prolapse. Mark leaves behind his mother‚ 2 sisters‚ 1 brother and their families.

Mark’s dream since he was a toddler was to be a firelighter like his father Richard who was a volunteer firefighter for the City of Shawnee‚ Kansas for over 30 years. Richard was extremely proud of the fire and police careers Mark chose and the two of them were extremely close until Richard died in 2000.

Mark was an Eagle Scout‚ a first-chair trumpet player‚ and a member of the marching band including playing for President George Bush seniors’ inauguration. Few knew he had an excellent singing voice. He joined the Explorer post at the fire department as soon he was old enough and volunteered until he was hired. He also headed the explorer post for a time after he was hired. He enjoyed snow skiing‚ scuba diving‚ camping‚ playing games and cards‚ and traveling. He even traveled to NYC after 9-11 to pay his respects to die fallen firefighters and police officers. He dreamed of building his home on Ins 22 acres in rural Johnson County‚ Ks. Mark especially liked spending time with family and friends‚ including 4-wheeling with his buddies from the fire and police departments. He enjoyed collecting fire and police antiques He was energetic‚ extremely neat and organized‚ and researched everything he did to the extent of being teased by all who knew him. Everyone enjoyed Marks expressive and entertaining way of replaying events and storytelling‚ we still meet people who knew or came in contact with Mark. So many of them tell us he was always a gentleman. He was extremely kind and generous to family and friends.

Our faith is giving us strength to cope with the loss of Mark. Knowing Mark and his Dad are together gives us some comfort. A perpetual scholarship fund was established in Mark’s memory for the Explorer post of his fire department.

Earl M. Hemphill

Earl M. Hemphill

Earl M. Hemphill‚ 61‚ career chief‚ Russell City Fire Department‚ died April 11‚ 2002‚ when he was struck by a fire truck after the brakes failed as he directed traffic at the scene of a motor vehicle accident. A U. S. Navy veteran‚ he joined the fire department as a volunteer‚ and worked as an electrician. He was an active firefighter for 35 years‚ including 20 as chief. Hemphill was known for the progressive training he provided for members of the department. Several firefighters who served under him as volunteers‚ including his son‚ have gone on to careers in the fire service.

He was a quiet kind of leader. You don’t have to raise your voice when everyone is waiting to hear what you have to say.

Lyndell J. Smith

Lyndell J. Smith‚ 46‚ a 12-year volunteer with the Caldwell Fire Department‚ died on May 31‚ 2000‚ when the fire department vehicle was involved in an accident while responding to a call. Smith was manager of the local water company and received an Operator of the Year Award in 1992.

Norman Almond

Norman Almond‚ 46‚ a career firefighter with the Parsons Fire Department‚ was electrocuted along with Firefighter Craig Daniel Brown when their extension ladder came into contact with power lines at a Parsons church on November 24‚ 1998. Almond had been with the department for 20 years.

Craig Daniel Brown

Craig Daniel Brown

Submitted by his wife

Craig proudly served nearly 7 years with the department. He loved his job and all sorts of outdoor activities. Hunting‚ fishing‚ camping‚ and boating were a few of his favorites. At the time of his death‚ survivors at home were his daughter Kalee‚ age 2 1/2 (now 10) and wife‚ Kristi pregnant with twins‚ Katlin and Colton‚ now age 7.

Submitted by his sister

Craig Brown is missed by his wife Kristi and (3) children Kalee‚ Katlin and Colton. He is also missed by his mother Jane‚ his father Danny (now deceased) and his sister Cathy.

Donald Koebel

There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.