Perkins Township FD Lieutenant Brent Bronner reflects on his friend and brother firefighter Jamie Dickman’s journey. A shared Last Alarm Memorial service for Stephen Machcinski and Jamie Dickman will be tonight at the Seagate Centre in Toledo at 7 pm. More HERE. Live feed of the service will be available on multiple Toledo news channels. Previous FDT posts HERE and HERE.
From Lt Bronner:
This past week I have been up and down with emotions and thoughts. The loss of two brothers in Toledo has hit us all hard. Even though we did not know Steve, everything I have read and in talking to some of his co-workers, he seems like a hell of a guy. Jamie, on the other hand, was new to the department but not new to us.
I have had the pleasure of working with Jamie for the past ten years; a majority of that time was spent on the same shift or at the same station. Jamie was an energetic firefighter who always wanted to leave the department better at 7am then it was the previous day, when he reported for duty. Jamie had a huge heart; he was always there to listen to anyone and would do his best to cheer who ever needed it. Jamie worked hard, and trained harder. It was not uncommon for Jamie to be reading something and trying to get us to do something new. Jamie was also a prankster, it was not unusual to find him hidden under a truck, or in a nook of the station someplace, ready to jump out and make his cat like sound. Assistant Chief David Murphy said it best when he said, “Jamie was like a little brother”. Jamie was a little brother to all of us.
It is said people wear their hearts on their sleeve, for Jamie he wore his life on his arm. If you did not know Jaime you did not have to look very far to understand his priorities, his tattoos told the story. First was family, with his wife’s name. Second was firefighting, Jamie had extreme pride for the job, he displayed this with his 9/11 tribute and firefighting monkey. Last was music, especially Led Zeppelin, you could tell this through his “ZOSO” tattoo.
In the past week talking with guys at the station we have all traded stories, laughed a little, and shed tears together. We are all figuring out, in our own ways, that Jamie taught us all about life in his short time. For me, he taught three life lessons. Jamie taught me to be thank-full for what you have because someone always has it worse. Even though right now it is hard to imagine someone having it much worse then the brothers and sisters in Toledo and Perkins do right now. He also taught me how to forgive. Jamie was one of the most forgiving people that have ever come into my life. No matter how much we picked on each other, or how “firehouse brutal” it got, he would always forgive. In speaking with his former Perkins Captain, no matter how bad the last day of the tour was, or how mad they were at each other, over the days off Jamie was reaching out to have a cigar or get dinner with the crew. The last life lesson I learned from Jamie was it is all right to be an individual. Jamie walked to the beat of a different drummer, or in his case the riff of a different guitarist. It was never uncommon for Jamie to show up with an odd colored huge watch, a crazy hat, or a gaudy pair of sunglasses, but individuality became his trademark.
For his classmates and coworkers at Engine 3 you are blessed for getting to meet him. For his brothers and sisters that did not get to work with him, I’m sorry. It is no doubt Jamie climbed the “Stairway to Heaven”, and is rocking out right now. I do not want to say goodbye, but rather until we meet again, Jamie I’m going to leave you with the words you left me with “Bang Bang, my friend, Bang Bang”.
Pass it on!