Flags at fire stations in Chattanooga are at half staff, and apparatus has been draped with black shrouds in memory of a lieutenant who died Saturday at his home.
Lt. Jeff Bowman, 42, responded to three incidents during his last shift at Station 9. He was found dead at his home the following morning, said Lt. Daniel Hague, safety officer for the Chattanooga Fire Department.
His death has left colleagues stunned. "Jeff was the last person we would expect...He was in really good physical shape," Hague said, adding that Bowman was a boxer, and participated in tough guy competitions.
"He was a dedicated father, and helped his sons with physical fitness too," Hague said.
Bowman's brother, Don, is a captain with the fire department and assigned to Ladder 1.
The last Chattanooga firefighter to die in the line of duty was in the 1940s.
Bruce Garner, a spokesman for the fire department, said a number of companies are planning to participate in the funeral services. He released the following information about plans.
The funeral procession will be divided into two parts. Fire apparatus from area departments are welcome to join either part of the procession, or both, by staging at the following locations on Wednesday, March 15. In addition to participating in the funeral procession, you may be asked to block an intersection along the procession route.
Part 1 of Procession: Stage no later than 9:30 a.m. on East Brainerd Road at Heritage Funeral Home (7454 E. Brainerd Rd.). Personnel will be on site to help with staging. The procession will leave the funeral home at approximately 10:30 a.m., and will travel to Brainerd Baptist Church (300 Brookfield Ave.).
Part 2 of Procession: Staging should be completed no later than 10:30 a.m. in large parking lot near Brainerd Baptist Church (300 Brookfield Ave.). You must be in place by 10:30 a.m. so that you will be in place when the funeral procession arrives. Personnel will be on site to help direct parking. After the service, around noon, the procession will head for Chattanooga National Cemetery (Holtzclaw & Bailey Ave.)
Communications with the Staging Coordinators will take place on the Mutual Aid channel (154.280) and on two "Disaster" channels (Chattanooga's 800 system). The funeral home Staging Coordinator -- "Heritage Staging" -- will be on Disaster 3, and Mutual Aid. The church Staging Coordinator -- "Brainerd Baptist Staging" -- will be on Disaster 4, and Mutual Aid.
Further inquiries about participating in the funeral procession should be directed to Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department at (423) 643-5600.