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Tenn. Fire Training Center Memorializes Late Firefighter

The Daily Herald, Columbia, Tenn.

Nearly a year after the loss of firefighter Jason Dickey, Lawrenceburg will celebrate the legacy of the fallen firefighter by breaking ground on the Jason Dickey Memorial Fire Training Center.

Dickey, an 11-year veteran of the Lawrenceburg Fire Department, died in the line of duty fighting a blaze inside a home at 512 Hood Lakes Road in February 2018.

Four other firefighters were injured and taken to the hospital after fire and rescue units issued a "Mayday" distress call at 7:57 p.m., when the structure collapsed, trapping the five firefighters inside.

"This training center was in the works before we lost Jason, and in light of his passing, we chose to name it after him; to memorialize him," Lawrenceburge Fire Chief Jay Moore told The Democrat-Union.

Located on a 4.73-acre plot of land donated by the city of Lawrenceburg on Crescent Factory Road, the three-story training center, will allow local firefighters to meet state mandated training requirements to next to the Crawfish Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

Much of the $750,000 project is being funded through private donations along with support from the Lawrenceburg Utility Systems, the Lawrence County Highway Department along with the city and county governments.

Although the deigns have not been finalized, the project may use converted shipping containers as part of the structure.

Having a training center located in the region will also help lower the Insurance Service Office, or ISO rating for the entire county. The rating is used by insurance companies to set home insurance rates.

"The loss of a firefighter impacts the fire service nationwide," Columbia Fire Chief Ty Cobb told The Daily Herald shortly after Dickey's passing. "Firefighters train together, work together and develop a bond that lasts forever. We are all one large family, dedicated to serving others and protecting our communities."

On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, Hundreds of firefighters from across the southeast from Nashville to Decatur, gathered at inside Mars Hill Baptist Church in Lawrenceburg to give a final farewell to the firefighter and pay their respects to his loved ones.

"He was a man who would show up and give you everything he had," Moore said. "He was a man that family meant everything in the world to. He would fight for his kids. He was a man who loved his brotherhood."

The chief vowed for the fire department to continue protecting Dickey's family. The late firefighter's wife, Jennifer, was expecting their fourth child less than a month before his death.

"He was a man who loved life," Moore said. "This day we celebrate his life. May we take the smile of Dickey and may we continue to serve the community faithfully."

As he was carried to his final resting place, a procession of dozens of fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and emergency response vehicles escorted their fallen brother through the city.

The procession passed Lawrence County High School, where baseball coach Brad White stood at attention with his teammates along with assistant coaches Toby Clayton and Daniel Beasley.

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