1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation Highly decorated Firefighter forgotten in Phoenix...PLEASE HELP!!

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and probably upset a few people but sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in. My name is Patty and I'm a private industry Paramedic in the Phoenix(AZ)metro area. I've been in the field almost 15 years and I was a member of I.A.F.F through my previous private ambulance company (I know how you guys feel about non-firefighters in your union and I don't blame you).I know the bond that you guys have and how strong your union is so here's the scoop.
    On Sept.19, 2000 I lost a very dear friend of 18 years. But it wasn't in the line of duty that he died. It was on a side job like many of you have. His name is Ron Cummings and he was (and still is) the most highly decorated Firefighter(Capt.)in Phoenix fire history. Ron, a master diver, had drown while cleaning a canal gate when he became disoriented or possibly suffered a heart attack while under water. He was not wearing a safety line.
    Today I visited Ron's grave. I searched and searched but couldn't find his head stone. I know I was in the right spot I was at the funeral and it's a small graveyard. I even found his parent's graves. Just up and to the right of his parent's graves was a grave that was partially grown over with grass but no head stone there was a dirty old bouquet of plastic flowers but what really killed me was there was a large F.O.P. sticker/emblem about a foot in diameter at the head of the grave. On the emblem was a bunch of white quartz rocks that had a letter written on each one but they were all mixed up. So I brushed off the emblem and sorted out the rocks to spell, "WE LOVE YOU" at that point I was choking back the tears. Just above the F.O.P. emblem was a 12" x 6" flag made out of little plastic flowers that were grossly worn and looked like crap. That's it. As I'm sure you have figured out by now, this was Ron's grave. I'm positive, no mistakes. A friend of mine had told me he visited the grave site a couple of months ago and there wasn't a head stone. I told him that they were probably having something special made.It's been 6 months now. I can't believe they've forgotten or worse...just didn't care because the 20 year, most highly decorated firefighter in Phoenix history wasn't on duty!!!! A HEAD STONE! The respect and honor he deserves...that's all I ask.
    I don't visit graves, my parents have been dead almost 10 years and I've never visited their graves because it's too painful for me. I was driving by the graveyard that Ron is in and I had passed it and something made me turn around. Maybe it was Ron, who knows?
    Guys....my stomach hurts and my heart aches, I loved Ron. He was good to his family, friends, and his brothers and sisters on the department and he was an excellent firefighter. Ron was a good man. Please don't let him go forgotten. Please. He doesn't deserve that and neither do you or I. On or off duty he paid his dues and put his time in. He deserves so much more. If I could afford it I'd build him a castle. PLEASE GUYS!!! HELP HIM OUT!!

    [This message has been edited by Stregawolf (edited 03-08-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Stregawolf (edited 03-08-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Stregawolf (edited 03-21-2001).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    If he is a vet, he is entitled to a headstone purchased by the Dept of veterans Affairs. Though it would be a simple one (Name, date of birth, date of death and branch of service) it is free, and certainly better than nothing. Have his family contact the local VA office if he is a veteran.

    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  3. #3
    mike m
    Firehouse.com Guest


    tell us how we can help.have tou contacted anyone in the department or in his union his fellow ff s must not know what is going on

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Did you consider that the stone may be ordered and just not finished, yet? My father-in-law passed away 2 years ago, and his wife ordered a custom brass plaque mounted on a marble base. It took nearly 18 months to get it finished and set. There were problems with the casting, so the had to re-do it. Between that and normal backups and production delays....

    This is not uncommon. Check with the family first, and the funeral home. I commend you for wanting to see something done. It might be because of an "untimely death" and the related financial problems, in which case, by all means help! On the other hand, it might just be "production delays". If it is, do something tasteful, but temporary, until the final stone is delivered.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. He sounds like a good man.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'm sorry to hear about your friend. If there is anything I can do e-mail me. I'm a Exchange editor for a High School Newspaper and I can usually get things into my local papers. Your story might be a good one for the local vally paper. Again if you need anything e-mail me.

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