Garrison firefighter and Iowa Firefighters Association President Marv Trimble led a delegation of Garrison Fire Department members to Coralville for the 24th Annual Memorial Service at the Iowa Firefighters Memorial on Sunday.

Trimble and other officers were among the leaders of the ceremony. Uniformed Garrison firefighters also participated in the annual tribute.

The memorial honors all firefighters who are known to have died while on duty in Iowa.

Among them is Vinton Fire Chief Lewis Freeman,  who died in April of 1969, while passing out keys to the new fire station (which is still in use in Vinton).

Freeman had led the effort to build the fire station, which enabled the department to house all of its rural and city trucks in one place. He had just returned from a fire call and was passing out keys to firefighters when he died of a heart attack. Firefighter helped volunteer their skills and talents to build the original building, and then did the same after the 2008 flood, enabling the city to rebuild the structure for a much lower cost.

History of the Memorial from its web site

In 1988, Mike Reuman, a firefighter from Traer, on vacation in another state noticed a sign pointing to a firefighter’s memorial in a nearby park. His stop catalyzed the start of the Iowa memorial. In 1990 the Iowa Firefighters Association commissioned a bronze memorial sculpture. Their challenge was to find a home suitable for such a touching memorial. After an extensive application process, research and site visits, the Iowa Firefighters Association, in 1992, chose Coralville due to its scenic hilltop location, ease of access for Interstate travelers, availability 365 days a year, a visitor center and park like atmosphere, proximity to hotels and restaurants and commitment of Coralville/Iowa City leaders to create and perpetually care for the site. The memorial park was dedicated April 10, 1994 at a ceremony attended by 2,500 firefighters and fellow Iowans.

 

 

Lewis Freeman

 

See more about the Iowa Firefighters Memorial HERE.