District Of Columbia
Fire/EMS Department Dedicates a Fire Alarm Box in Honor and Memory of Sergeant John M Carter
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firefighters from the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department attended an
emotional unveiling of a fire alarm box honoring Sgt. John M. Carter who was
killed on October 24, 1997 at a store fire at 4th & Kennedy St's NW.
Several of the District of Columbia's City Council members who attended the
memorial unveiling paid tribute to Carter stating that his death will never be
forgotten by the citizens of the District of Columbia and by members of the city
Firefighter Lawrence Chapman III of Rescue Squad 3 of the District of Columbia
Fire/EMS Department spent a year and a half getting the fire alarm placed back
on the corner just one block from Carter's death.
Chapman stated that a few days after Carters death, someone had placed a plaque
on the fire alarm box that was on the corner with Carter's name and the box
alarm number. However due to reconstruction of the sidewalks in the area, the
Department of Public Works removed the alarm box not knowing it was honoring a
Chapman also stated that he hopes to place another fire alarm box near the
location were Firefighter Tony Phillips of Engine Company 10 and Firefighter Lou
Matthew's of Engine Company 26 were killed in the line of duty on May 30, 1998 while fighting a fire on Cherry Rd northeast.
Acting Fire Chief Ronnie Few stated that his main goal as fire chief is to see
that when a firefighter goes on a run that he or she will return safely to the
Few also stated that he is taking part in a meeting this week and one of their
main goals is firefighter safety.
Lieutenant Ray Sneed of the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department and
President of Local 36 stated, we are here today to pay tribute to Carter who made the supreme sacrifice and that John Carter loved being a
firefighter, he loved being a DC firefighter.
Debbie Carter, wife of the late Firefighter said her family would like to thank
the firefighters for keeping John's memory alive. Debbie stated it was and still
is an honor to be called Mrs. John Carter. She also thanked everyone for their
support, in closing she read a verse from a song that summed up how she felt.
Many of the firefighters who attended the unveiling of the fire alarm box stated
they hoped that the city officials will understand how dangerous it is to
be a firefighter and give them what they need to do the job they are paid to do
and stop cutting the fire department's budget.
Since Carter's death the department has added the fifth firefighter to all
ladder trucks as well as providing battalion aides to assist battalion chiefs on
the fire ground. The department has also purchased new fire trucks and is
planning to up grade their radio system in a few months.
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