More photos follow
DUDLEY - Dudley Firefighters paid tribute to retired Dudley Fire Chief Jeffrey Emerson Phelps, who died on Wednesday June 6th at the age of 56, following a short battle with cancer.
Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Ceccarelli, President Local 4271, says that Chief Phelps was the most active president that this organization has ever seen.
"He was the start-up of Dudley’s Union. As a proactive member of the PFFM, he would use vacation time to attend the annual union conference, and traveled across the state to attend the monthly meeting, whether it was held in the Berkshires or on the Cape. He fought to organize for the rights of the firefighters. From the Union standpoint, he was a big grizzly bear. He really was. He was a soft-spoken man in other things, but for the Union, he was a grizzly bear."
"He had a passion and was the best advocate possible for the firefighters" says Kerry Kozlowski, a former Dudley firefighter who worked with Phelps for ten years.
Phelps joined the Fire Department in 1975 and became one of the town’s original career firefighters two years later. He served as a firefighter for the town of Dudley for 35 years, spending 30 of those in command roles and retiring as fire chief in December 2010.
Chief Phelps was a long-standing member of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts (PFFM) as well as a Local President for many years, and also a member of the Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association.
Ceccarelli says that on Monday morning, June 11th, the department followed a ceremonial motorcade parade route from Bartel Funeral Home on 33 Schofield Avenue, turning left on W. Main Street to pass the Dudley Fire Station, turning right on Mason Road, then left on Dudley Oxford Road passing by the Shepherd Hill Regional High School to Center Road, ending at the First Congregational Church of Dudley at 135 Center Road.
- Sunday, 17 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News