Dixie Suburban, Kentucky Firefighter Mourned

Shively, KY -- A Dixie Suburban firefighter is being remembered for his dedication to protecting the public and helping others.

On Wednesday, 39-year-old Andre Ellis died in the line of duty. He was doing what he loved best which was helping others be better firefighters.

The flag is flying at half-staff in front of the Dixie Suburban Firehouse because Sgt. Ellis has made his last call.

"He would always be willing to be there for you," says firefighter Jeremy Poole. "He knew what he was talking about and he was passionate about it."

"He had everybody's best interest at heart all the time," says Chief Tim Robbins of Dixie Suburban.

Andre Ellis joins Dixie Suburban in 1999. He was known around the firehouse as Mike. He rose through the ranks and became a sergeant as well as the main training officer for the Department. He was its "Fireman of the year" in 2003.

On Wednesday, he was at a training facility getting ready to check a search and rescue exercise for trainees. It was a new fitness program designed to give those who ran the course an idea of what firefighters face in the field.

But there was a problem.

"I'm not exactly sure what happened," Chief Robbins tells WHAS11 News "I haven't had the opportunity to investigate that part of it, all I know is he went into full arrest and when he went into full arrest EMS was contacted and took him to the hospital immediately".

Sgt. Ellis died later.

The chief says in light of what happened the new straining procedure would be reviewed. What makes the situation even more difficult to understand is that Ellis never gave anyone any indication of a medical problem.

His helmet and coat are at his locker at the station.

Some of the firefighters he trained say he will always be remembered and missed.

"He was a very confident trainer," says Curtis Freeman, who has been a volunteer for about a year. "He was always believed in everything the told us and if we had a question about something that he didn't know the answer to he would know the answer before he left that day."

Firefighter Jeremy Poole agrees.

"He made all the runs he could and he stressed a lot that we need to make as many runs," he said. "He stressed with me and my friend Curtis, to make as many runs as we could without picking and choosing to try and get ion here as much as we can."

Like so many others Sgt. Ellis was a tireless volunteer for the WHAS Crusade for Children.

No formal funeral arrangements have been announced but he will be given full honors because he died in the line of duty.