Thanks, firefighters, for caring

Published 10:44 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

On behalf of my family and myself, I want to thank the Suffolk Fire Department and all the firefighters (paid and retired) for all they have done for my late husband, retired Battalion Chief James Allen “Jimmie” Johnson, also known by many firemen as “Mr. Clean.”

Jimmie was diagnosed in early 2000 with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. From that time on, his health continued downhill.

Back in February 2008, the firefighters came to our home and built a ramp so he could leave the house for doctor’s appointments and so forth. It was one of the coldest days, with light mist all day, but they were here from 9 to 5, with no complaining at all.

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Later on, around November, Jimmie’s health had reached a dangerous level, and we called the hospice. At the same time, I had caught a virus and was having a hard time caring for his needs and everyday tasks. Without hesitation, the firefighters jumped in and began bringing us meals several times a week. Anything I needed, they were ready to help with.

Finally, at the end, they were still there, bringing food, ice and whatever else I needed. On Jan. 12, at First Baptist Church, they were there in full force, showing their respect for a fallen officer.

Their motto is “Our Family Helping Yours,” and they showed it to be true to the fullest extent. I cannot express enough gratitude for how much it meant to all our family that they have done so much for Jimmie and myself.

May God always keep them safe, and when on a call bring them back to their families.

Thanks, in the biggest way.

Linda T. Johnson and family