Posts Tagged Homer Fire Department

Homer Fire Department news (more)

Excerpts from the

About 11:45 a.m. Monday, an emergency alert tone for the Homer Fire Department came over the radio.

“This is the final call for Firefighter Mike Cummins, who dedicated 31 years to the fire service,” said a dispatcher from METCAD, her voice reverberating from the radios of firefighters standing at attention outside the Homer New Life Church of Faith.

“The Homer fire chief and department members thank him for his service to the community,” the dispatcher continued. “We’ll never forget his honor, courage and duty. May he rest in peace.”

Dozens of fire, police, and emergency medical personnel from Champaign, Vermilion, and Piatt counties gathered at the church to say goodbye and pay their respects to Mr. Cummins, who was remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather; an avid fisherman; and a dedicated volunteer firefighter for Homer and other communities.

The 46-year-old Homer man was on his way home from a medical call when he suffered his own medical problem and died early Wednesday morning. He was 46.

Firefighters filed into the sanctuary and took their seats across the aisle from Mr. Cummins wife, Cindy, and friends and relatives. Mr. Cummins’ black helmet, bearing No. 17, and his turnout gear sat at the front of the room.

Pastor Dave Ashby, the chaplain for the Champaign and Urbana firefighters and senior pastor of Trinity Community Fellowship in Farmer City, officiated the service with Pastor C.W. Greer of the Homer church.

Ashby confessed that he never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Cummins. But after talking with his loved ones over the weekend, he said it became apparent that a few words could best describe him — fisherman, family man and firefighter.

On their last night together, the minister said, Mr. Cummins “bounced up and down in their bed,” then repeated to his wife, “Hello, beautiful.”

Then a tone from his radio sounded late at night.

“Mike jumped up at the tone,” Ashby said. Before he left, he said to his wife one last time, “Hello, beautiful. I love you.”

On Monday, a large American flag hung from ladder trucks from the Savoy and Tuscola fire departments.

At the end of the service, two bagpipers played Amazing Grace and then Going Home, as fellow firefighters placed Mr. Cummins’ casket in the back of the Homer Fire and Rescue truck, draped with black cloth. After his last call, a funeral procession made its way from the church through town down Main Street and under the large flag.

There, more firefighters stood at attention and saluted Mr. Cummins’ casket as it drove by. A number of residents also stood at both sides of the road.

Firefighters put one last message for their fallen brother on their sign out front: “RIP, Firefighter Mike Cummins. We got it from here.”

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Homer Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

A 46-year-old Homer man died Wednesday morning, apparently from a medical problem that happened as he drove his pickup truck on Illinois 49, hitting three parked cars.

Champaign County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Mennenga said John Mike Cummins was taken to the hospital following the accident, which happened about 12:45 a.m. in the heart of Homer. He died at 1:52 a.m. in the emergency department.

Cummins and his passsenger, a fellow firefighter, had been out on a call south of Homer about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Homer Fire Chief Don Happ said Cummins and Cody Shik, 18, left the station ahead of the 10 other firefighters.

“He said he wasn’t feeling well,” said Happ, who knew his friend was recovering from having a blood clot removed from his leg and had been off work from his job for about a month.

Happ and several other firefighters were still at the station when the call came in. “I was the first one there in my chief’s vehicle. As soon as I pulled up, I knew exactly who it was,” Happ said.

Cummins had been on the Homer Fire Department as a firefighter and first responder for about 2 1/2 years but had worked as a volunteer firefighter at other departments since he was about 18.

“He never missed a call, never missed a training. He tried to make it to everything we did. Whatever kind of thing we had going on, whether it was cooking for a fundraiser, he was there,” Happ said.

“He would go out of his way, drop everything to go help somebody. That’s how he was raised, a good family man,” Happ said. “He loved bringing his grandkids to the fire station and spent a lot of time up there with them.”

A funeral with full firefighter honors is being planned.

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