ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Firefighters and police officers alongside community members gathered Friday to say goodbye to South Metro Fire Rescue firefighter Troy Jackson. Jackson, the department’s assistant chief of operations, passed away Monday morning from a rare, job-related cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma.
“Although his stubborn attitude wouldn’t show you, he was in a great deal of pain for many years. His family wasn’t ready to say goodbye to a father, husband and son, but we were ready to see my dad at peace,” said Carley Jackson, Troy’s daughter.
The nearly 30-year SMFR veteran, husband and father was laid to rest will full honors in a ceremony at a church in Englewood.
Jackson was hired as a firefighter in 1990 and worked his way up through the ranks as an Engineer, Lieutenant, Captain and Training Bureau Chief. He was promoted to Assistant Chief of Operations in 2016 and stepped down in August of 2019 due to health reasons.
“While slowing dying from the ravages of job-related cancer, Troy was tireless in his devotion,” said SMFR Chief Bob Baker.
Jackson worked with the department to reduce firefighters’ exposure to cancer causing carcinogens, so no one else would feel his pain.
“Emergency service was his calling. He had a service heart and a teachable spirit,” said Baker.
Loved ones described Jackson as a great leader. He was a mentor to Fire’s youngest men and women. His passion for service was inspiring, and for his police officer daughter, hereditary.
“Every time I put on my uniform, I vow to serve my community the way my dad did: with love for everyone and a positive unwavering attitude,” said Carley Jackson.
Gov. Jared Polis ordered flags lowered to half staff on all public buildings statewide Friday to honor the passing of Jackson.
Firefighters from around the country, including FDNY, attended the memorial service. First responders from across Colorado lined the streets for a procession in Jackson’s honor.
Jackson is survived by his wife Lori, daughter Carley, son Covey and daughter-in-law Courtney.