Javier Lerma‚ 41‚ a 21-year member and career lieutenant with the Memphis Fire Department‚ died on March 8‚ 2000‚ of a gunshot wound while responding to an arson fire. Lerma’s father also died in the line of duty while a member of the Memphis Fire Department.
Submitted by his Wife
Larry had been with the fire department 10 years before his death. He loved helping people; giving what he had even if it was his last. He received several awards for his help and support in the community.
He leaves behind his family; a wife and 2 children who will forever remember his love for the fire department.
Submitted by his wife
District Chief Paul Parsons Satterfield loved every minute of his 27 years of firefighting with the Nashville‚ TN fire department. His fellow firefighters‚ friends‚ and family thought this 6’5‚’ 280 pound man of strength was invincible until he suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage following a difficult house fire in September 1998. Paul was strong in stature and strong in spirit. His untimely death on that crisp fall day shook the world for those that knew him.
Paul Satterfield left a rich heritage. He was instrumental in starting the Burn Center at Vanderbilt Hospital following the explosion in Waverly‚ TN that killed and brutally burned many local firefighters‚ police‚ and citizens. Paul was on the scene that day and watched helplessly as victims had to be transported to far away burn centers. He saw the need for a Burn Center in Nashville and was persistent in raising support for that purpose. Vanderbilt Burn Center is operational today and has earned a well-respected nation-wide reputation.
Continuing his involvement with the Burn Center‚ Paul began to realize the need for a camp designed specifically for burned children. They needed a place to swim‚ ride horses‚ and do crafts and other activities with other children who had suffered the same misfortune of catastrophic burns. He began efforts to acquire property on a nearby lake and funds to run a summer camp. Camp Phoenix is operational today and children with life-altering scars play together‚ protected from the stares and whispers of curious onlookers who might lack empathy for the disfiguring misfortune suffered by another.
Paul was also instrumental in starting the Firefighters’ Sertoma Club‚ the largest Sertoma Club ever to be chartered at that time in Tn‚ Al‚ Ga‚ or Mi. He was one of the first locally cross-trained first responders and helped start the First Responders’ Club. He created numerous fund-raising enterprises such as the Grand Prix Tricycle Race and the Chile Cook-off to support various charitable endeavors in the community. He helped to create a hiking path for the Easter Seal Society Center for Crippled Children. He created a fund and network of volunteers to help provide families with clothing and shelter within hours after devastating house fires. He created‚ edited‚ and distributed a firefighter newspaper for the middle TN area. Paul was deeply committed to his faith‚ and seldom missed an opportunity to share his faith with others. He taught Sunday School‚ participated in lay evangelism‚ and faithfully attended Bible studies and prayer groups. More importantly‚ he walked the walk.
Perhaps his greatest‚ but quietest‚ contribution to the brotherhood of firefighters‚ his family‚ and his community was his never-failing willingness to listen‚ counsel‚ and extend a helping hand to anyone in need‚ regardless of the situation. Whether he responded with a good joke‚ a few dollars‚ or a sincere prayer; he always wanted to ease the pain of others‚ and he usually succeeded. His infectious smile and gentle demeanor earned him the title of the ‘gentle giant’ among those that knew him.
Paul loved to hunt and fish and eat. He loved firefighting. But first and foremost‚ he loved his God and his family. Paul and his wife‚ Marilyn‚ were sweethearts for 25 years. He had four children: Paul Jr.‚ Laura‚ Evan‚ and Emily. Paul Jr. is an actor‚ Laura is a singer/songwriter‚ Evan is a paramedic/firefighter‚ and Emily is a TN Wildlife Technician. Their lives were shaped by their father’s strong example of faith‚ courage‚ responsibility‚ and love for life.
Paul Satterfield’s heritage lives on while his larger-than-life presence continues to be greatly missed. His absence leaves a huge hole in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
While responding to a fatal motor vehicle highway accident, Firefighter Wilson was killed instantly when he was ejected from the tanker apparatus he was riding in, as it overturned after the brakes reportedly failed.
Firefighter Floyd was killed while responding to the scene of a structure fire when another vehicle pulled out in front of him, causing a collision.
Submitted by a friend
Scott Berry had been with the fire department for approximately 3 years and had worked his way up to the rank of Sergeant. He was a former Marine and he absolutely loved the fire service.
He was killed in the early morning hours of December 17‚ 1997 while enroute to a boat fire that was deliberately set by arsonists. Sergeant Berry’s brother was also in the tanker/pumper when it hit black ice and overturned. His brother had very serious injuries‚ but survived the accident.
Sergeant Berry is greatly missed in our community and will never be forgotten. He is survived by 3 children‚ his parents‚ brothers‚ a sister‚ nieces and nephews and several friends who thought the world of him.
Firefighter W. Clark Derryberry died in a motor vehicle accident while returning home from a barn fire. The barn fire was the last one out of a series of four.
Firefighter Pinnell suffered a fatal heart attack while returning from extinguishing a garbage fire that had extended to a commercial occupancy.
Firefighter Schubert suffered a fatal heart attack while operating at the scene of a fire.
Forestry Technician/Firefighter Wilson was assisting with the suppression of a 4-acre fire near Greenbrier, TN, while walking the line to ensure the fire was out, Ronnie became ill and nauseous. After releasing all resources from the fire, Ronnie and his crew were refilling the pumper with water. His arms hurt and he called his wife and asked her to come drive him home. Upon reaching his residence Ronnie got out of the truck and laid down on the ground and passed away. He had worked to suppress 99 fires in the previous 49 days.