River City News

2 Jacksonville firefighters honored posthumously

Special to River City News

Two Jacksonville men were among 86 fallen firefighters honored by the International Association of Fire Fighters at the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony Sept. 17 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Firefighter Karl "Klif" Kramer of Jacksonville Local 122 and firefighter/senior forest ranger Henry D. Hobbs of Florida State Fire Service Association Local S-20 were honored as hundreds of firefighters and family members gathered for the 19th annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Ceremony.

Kramer died from a job-related heart attack May 28 at 22; Hobbs died from a job-related heart attack Feb. 21 at 37.

"This ceremony is a fitting and respectful tribute to firefighter Kramer, forest ranger Hobbs and the 84 other brave souls who gave their lives in the name of public service over the past year," Harold Schaitberger, general president of the 270,000-member IAFF, said in a news release.

Kramer was excited about following in his father's footsteps and becoming a member of the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department, union officials said. He loved playing baseball with family and friends. His family always came first; he was a hero and role model for his three younger brothers, Matt, Sean and Tyler, and the pride of his mother and father, Murray and Linda.

Hobbs was a dedicated husband for 14 years. He was friendly and loved by all the people he met. A firm worker for 17 years with the Division of Forestry in Hilliard, he traveled to North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado to help with wildfires. He also worked with the recovery team of the space shuttle Columbia in Texas. Hobbs loved being outdoors, and fishing and hunting were some of the hobbies he enjoyed. He leaves behind wife, Peggy.