Mayor Buckhorn Joins Tampa Fire Rescue to Dedicate Tampa’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Tom Forward will dedicate the new Tampa Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial on Monday, May 11, 2015 at 2 p.m. The new memorial is located at Tampa Fire Rescue Headquarters, located 808 E. Zack St. downtown.

The public is invited to attend the memorial unveiling. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony.

“The men and women of Tampa Fire Rescue put their lives on the line every day to protect us, and in TFR’s history, 16 men have made the ultimate sacrifice in their efforts to protect their community. The memorial will stand as a permanent reminder to those we have lost but also the work that continues today,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “We are humbled, but inspired by their efforts, and it is appropriately fitting that the memorial to honor our firefighters and first responders is the result of a community effort.”

The memorial depicts life size statue of a firefighter in a solemn stance, and was created by local artist Steven Dickey.

The total cost for construction of this memorial is approximately $110,000, which was made possible in part by generous donations to the Friends of Tampa Firefighters non-profit organization. Major donors to the project include Simon Canasi, Senior Vice President of the Canasi-Fernandez Group at Morgan Stanley, and the Zeta Pi chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of South Florida.

“This has been one of my top priorities since becoming fire chief,” said Tampa Fire Chief Tom Forward. “The firefighters in this city deserve a memorial to the service and sacrifice they so selflessly provide to the City of Tampa. The names of the fallen firefighters etched on this monument serve as a reminder to all of our citizens the price that some have paid in service to their community.”

Tampa Fire Rescue came into existence as Tampa’s first professional, paid fire department in 1895. In its 120 year history, 14 firefighters have died in the line of duty. 16 names are inscribed on the memorial as the first two are the names of firefighters who died in the line of duty prior to the official establishment of the Tampa Fire Rescue when the community was served by volunteers.

The names of the fallen firefighters are:

 Jeff Saunders   November 12, 1890
 Charles E. Ainsworth  May 20, 1894
 W.C. Eckles   February 1, 1906
 Walter M. Mathews March 27, 1929
 Alva C. Wooten August 23, 1955
 Linwood D. Blanton January 6, 1956
 Oliver W. Dennis January 31, 1956
 Wayne W. Young May 26, 1957
 Andrew H. Sulli March 30, 1958
 Albert Miranda September 27, 1964
 Perry M. Freeman March 10, 1969 
 Osvaldo E. Calderon May 7, 1969
 Richard L. Ryals April 22, 1974
 Franz G. Warner August 4, 1981
 Isaac Royal  August 9, 1981
 Jack K. Barker January 21, 2001