Gene Autry Fire Department dedicates fire truck to fallen firefighter

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

After losing assistant Fire Chief Joey Bailey, the Gene Autry Fire Department wanted to remember their fellow firefighter. So in their free time, they built a fire truck in his honor and presented it to his family Saturday.

"It was a great honor and a very very deep privilege for all of us to get to be part of building this truck in honor of him," GAFD Captain Ty Runyan said as he presented the truck.

For Joey's wife and two children the truck was a complete surprise. When his mother Brenda Bailey saw the truck she felt overwhelmed.

"With joy and just...that they would do something like this for my son means the world to me," she said.

Joey was killed in a four-wheeler accident in January. He was on life-support for several weeks before he died.

A bible verse the family carried as he was in the hospital is painted on the side of the truck. The nickname his dad gave him, "Zippo," adorns the cab. His badge number is now the truck's number.

Runyan said the fire truck is not just for Joey, but about him.

"We'll do anything, everything to do it in his honor and to try to encompass his personality as best as we can," Runyan said. "So with that, we're here standing with it."

Joey' mother stands with it too, knowing his memory will live on.

"It's just an honor," Bailey said. "And I feel so blessed to have all the people do what they have done for my son."


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