BY RON RAKOWSKY
MAYOR EMERITUS CITY OF GREENWOOD VILLAGE
The passing of an individual is not only sad but sometimes tragic. Such is the case of the South Metro Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Troy Jackson. I have been privileged to know him for thirty years. My wife Margaret, in her then capacity as a board member for Castlewood Fire Protection District, the predecessor organization of South Metro Fire Rescue, and I attended Troy’s swearing-in as a new firefighter. His dad Paul Jackson, then a Battalion Chief notwithstanding a call to an alarm, was able to swear in his son as a firefighter. Over the years I had many visits both official and unofficial with Troy.
Most people go through life without making a measurable addition to society. That was not the case with Troy. He truly left the organization in a better position than he found it. His strong advocacy changed the organization’s culture from wearing bunker gear (the heavy clothing that protects firefighters while fighting fires) that displayed smoke and soot, to promptly washing off the soot and other debris. That soot and debris were at one time were considered a badge of accomplishment, but Troy recognized that failing to promptly cleanup was most likely a catalyst for the many cancers suffered by firefighters. He is given credit for requiring bunker gear to be washed immediately after each fire.
Troy had exceptional leadership skills at the beginning of his career. He was recognized throughout his career by his many promotions. Promotion is not a reward for past service but a recognition by the organization of an individual’s value to the future needs of the organization.
Perhaps the most important position he occupied was Assistant Chief of Training. There is no higher accolade than to be tasked by your peers to teach the skills and values of your profession to the newest members, as well as ensuring the currency of skills of all members of the organization. Troy had that opportunity and surpassed the expectations of everyone in the organization except himself. He always strived to do better. His demeanor and accomplishments place him in my personal Pantheon of Heroes.
I encourage the community to support Troy’s wife Lori and their children. My deepest regret as to his passing is that he will not be with us as a role model for those whose goal is to join the firefighting profession.
Goodbye Troy, you will be missed more than most and leave a legacy that sets the highest bar for those who succeed you.
(Editor’s note: Chief Troy S. Jackson was born Aug 28, 1968 and died Dec 16, 2019. He was Assistant Chief for Operations for South Metro Fire Rescue. His parents are Donna and Paul Jackson (Paul is retired Battalion Chief for SMFR). His wife is Lori and they have 2 children, son Covey (married to Courtney) and daughter Carley, a recently minted Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy. Troy was at her recent graduation and pinned on her badge.
His cancer is considered job related. He was diagnosed in 2013 with adenoid cystic carcinoma caused by his exposure to soot and other fire debris. He was instrumental in making the cause known and providing education on ways to minimize exposure.)
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |