Knoxville Fire Department Holds Annual Memorial Service

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

Last item for navigation
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
News item

Knoxville Fire Department Holds Annual Memorial Service

Posted: 10/24/2019
  KFD Photo

Click here to view a Photo Gallery of the Memorial Service on Facebook

KFD Memorial Ceremony
On Thursday, October 24, 2019, the Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) held their annual memorial service honoring firefighters at the Headquarters Station on Summit Hill Avenue. 

The event commemorates retired firefighters who have passed away during the last year and honors the memory of firefighters who have died in the line of duty during its 134-year history.

Mayor Madeline Rogero and Deputy Chief Gary Compton provided remarks and placed a wreath at the statue memorializing lost firefighters. 

“We’re grateful that KFD firefighters are out there on the front lines, performing heroic rescues. You risk your lives to put out fires and perform life-saving medical responses. And in-between crises, you educate adults and children about public safety,” said Mayor Rogero.

Mayor Rogero and Chief Compton were joined by City and County officials, members of the Tennessee General Assembly, current and retired firefighters, family members, friends and more.

Retired firefighters who passed since the last memorial service include: Buddy Cupp, Harold H. Davis, Jr., Charles Grubbs, Jack E. Lane, Kenneth C. Long, Robert W. Payne, Jr., Ronald Smith, and James G. Woody.

Each year, a bell is rung and a rose placed in a vase for the 24 firefighters who died in the line of duty and those recently departed. The formal memorial service includes KFD’s own Pat Armstrong performing Taps on the bugle and bagpiper Kelly Shipe, who led the processional and the recessional.

KFD currently has 318 professional firefighters, including 34 new firefighters who graduated from the KFD training academy earlier this year. A new class is under selection and will begin in early 2020.

In 2018, KFD responded to over 25,000 calls for emergency service, an average of 69 emergency runs every day. In addition, KFD provided medical standby last year at 418 different special events and provided CPR training to over 3,000 residents. Partnering with the American Red Cross, City firefighters helped install 1,300 smoke alarms.


Captain Robert L. "Buddy" Blankenship
Fred Everett Boatman
Chief Sam B. Boyd
John. J. Dunn
J.C. Flenniken
Michael A. Fletcher
Captain Howard O. Gray
Captain William F. Maxey
Captain Tom. F. Heagerty
Henry Clay Lawless
James H. May
Louie A. McCaughan
Captain Henry "Pat" Mitchell
Raymond H. "Shorty" Nash
Captain John O. "Slim" Pickens
William Scott Popejoy, Jr.
William C. Reed
Lloyd C. Scruggs
Captain Worley Sharp
Fred M. "Jack" Sexton
Carl Eugene Smith
George H. Smith
Joe E. Tarwater
Captain Charles E. Youngblood


Buddy Cupp
Harold H. Davis, Jr.
Charles Grubbs
Jack E. Lane
Kenneth C. Long
Robert W. Payne, Jr.
Ronald Smith
James G. Woody