Incident Name: Chester County, TN
Personnel: Jerry Wayne Hopper
Agency/Organization: Tennessee Division of Forestry
Position: firefighter, mechanic
Summary: On 1/11/2005, Jerry Wayne Hopper, a Forestry Technician and 28 -year employee with the Tennessee Division of Forestry was murdered while performing maintenance on fire suppression vehicles at the State Garage in Chester County. This was a tragic act of random violence that claimed his life.
- TN DOF: Murdered while conducting vehicle maintenance at state garage, Chester County, TN
- Tennessee Fallen Firefighters Memorial: Jerry Hopper
- Jerry Hopper honored at Fallen Firefighter Memorial
1/11/2006 | Online Article
Within a week after watching her husband's slayer receive the death penalty, Emma Hopper was notified that her husband was being forever immortalized at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, located at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. In addition to having Jerry's name engraved in a granite wall, a special medal bearing Hopper's name was created, a book produced with biographies of each firefighter, and a touching candle-light ceremony was held that included reading a roll call of every firefighter who lost their lives on duty in 2005.
"Jerry was a very humble man," Emma Hopper said after receiving her husband's medal, the book and a flag that flew over both the nation's Capitol and the Fallen Firefighters Monument. She also received the very candle that was lit as Jerry's name was read during the ceremony.
"One of our friends went to Washington, D.C., to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and there was another friend's name there on the wall, a friend Jerry lost right out of high school. This friend traced the name off the wall. I don't think Jerry thought his name would ever be on a wall like this. This is quite an honor to see him remembered in this way." (More at the link)
- In 2006, the Tennessee Department of Forestry honored Hopper by naming a conference room at its Lexington facility after Jerry. The "Jerry Hopper Meeting and Conference Center" is an addition to the Forestry Division office. It contains a "smart screen" where a computer screen is projected onto a much larger screen. The facility will be used as a training center, as well as an incident command center. In that ceremony, Jerry Hopper was lauded for his work at Chickasaw State Forest, where he was assigned for much of his 28-year career with the state of Tennessee.
- Training Facility in Lexington TN
Contributors to this article: David Fiorella
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