Firefighters and emergency responders from Greene County and beyond honored Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Randy Love Thursday afternoon in the fallen firefighter’s 100-mile funeral procession.
Love, 56, died Sunday. He joined the Jefferson fire department in 1995 and was elected fire chief in 2009. He was a 36-year employee of Jefferson Telecom.
A memorial service was held Thursday morning at the Greene County High School auditorium. About 225 people attended, including the members of the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department, the Jefferson Police Department, Greene County Sheriff’s office and firefighters from other Greene County towns.
Pastor Sheldon Henderson of the Central Christian Church offered words of comfort, with eulogies offered by firefighters Dean Promes, Jack Williams and Terry Becker.
Love was later buried at the Carson Municipal Cemetery in southwestern Iowa. An honor guard of firetrucks and motorcycles, including members of the Patriot Guard, accompanied the funeral procession on the two-hour drive.
The Perry and Carroll fire departments provided aerial trucks so the American flag could be hoisted over Elm Street in Jefferson for the procession.
In Guthrie Center the fire department formed a human chain blocking the intersection at Iowa Highway 44. Fire trucks were parked on every overpass as the procession traveled 46 miles on U.S. Interstate 80.
The Harlan fire department brought its trucks to the cemetery in Carson and provided an honor guard there.
“It was a hard day,” said one Jefferson firefighter, “but it was something to see, that all those other departments helped us honor our chief.”
Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Dean Promes will serve as the interim chief until the Jefferson firefighters elect a new leader.
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