Clayton mayor speaks live about the firefighter who died today after battling COVID-19
Mayor Jody McLeod and Mayor Pro Tem Jason Thompson speak on the death of Jason Dean, the firefighter who died earlier today after battling COVID-19. They will speak from Fire Station One, where a temporary memorial has been set up with Jason Dean's truck.
in his legacy to the town of Clayton and to our Clayton fire Department. Uh, Jason was a graduate of Clayton High School and phenomenal football player. And in the year 2000, he started volunteering for the town of Clayton Fire Department and worked his way all the way up to deputy chief. And he was an avid supporter of education and firefighter training and firefighter training and firefighter training. He believed in it, and he built a strong team, and he gave some amazing contributions to the town of Clayton and some amazing contributions. Thio the Clayton Fire Department. Um, I would like toa take a second to thank everybody for your support. For all the social media hits of support and love and appreciation, it really does mean a lot not only to the town of Clayton, but in addition to our family here of the Clayton Fire Department. Uh, in a small town, it's a it's a tight group, and it's a strong team. Everybody's family. So we're all suffering a great loss. But Jason Dean would want us toe, you know, not keep this as sad. He would like for us to keep this as a happy because he knows the good work he did while he was here. And we all know the good work he did while he was here. And the good work that he did for the time of Clayton and with the Clayton fire department is gonna help us with all of our services for the time of Clayton for the next 20 or 30 years. Tremendous impact from one single young man who was dedicated and who started as a volunteer. I just don't think it gets much better than that. So thank you for the prayers and support. Please continue to remember the town of Clayton and Clayton Fire Department family as we go through these next few days and please a special prayer for Jason Dean's family. Uh, they've been through an awful lot, has a wonderful wife and two young daughters, and we need toe support them with all 11 prayers that we can give them. So thank you. And now I'd like Thio turn the microphone over to our mayor Pro TEM Jason Thompson. I'm Jason Thompson. I'm the mayor pro TEM for the town of Clayton. And okay, I want to speak to you. briefly about the personal side of Jason Dean and the person that he was And, um, how he impacted our lives and especially mine. Um, before I got into politics, I was a young rescue squad person and work with the M s here in town for 20 years. And when I went to high school with Jason Dean and after high school, we became roommates and had the opportunity toe both serve the town through our rescue squad work. And I saw his and I knew his passion for helping other people and his passion for training and and if it had anything to do with fire and rescue work, he wanted to know everything about it, and he went to school for it. He traveled all over the country, going to schools for, you know, to bring tools and knowledge back to Clayton to help Clayton be what it is today. Um, I enjoyed being, you know, a friend enjoyed being a neighbor. Um, when he got married, we became neighbors. And he's been a neighbor to my family for many years and just somebody that you could always depend on. Um, when Jason joined the fire department um, the Fire Department did firefighting, but not a lot of rescue work. And that was something done by the local rescue squads. And he brought a skill set. And he and Chief Barbie really helped develop rescue services for Clayton into what they are today and developed a training program for the town of Clayton. And I just I can't even it can't be measured the contribution that he's made our town. And I think the only thing that could come close is the lives that were saved by the firefighters, the rescues that are made, the fires that air extinguished. You know, he had a direct impact in training every one of these folks. And he I think he's looking down, proud of his contribution to the town. But but even more so, he's proud of of the good work that the men and women in the town of Clayton do still helping others today. Um, I just I think back, you know, 25 years, really 2020 25 years of, of helping the town and going from such a small town. And now what we've grown into and and I look and I can't imagine you know, going in this station without him being there and, you know, seeing the fire trucks go out now and him not being a part of that response, you know, personally for May. That's just that's extremely sad. And I think his legacy, you know, we just gets, um, relief and solace and knowing that that his legacy lives on and that the men and women are doing good work here. Thank you. The one bright spot in all of this for me, eyes a mayor for the town of Clayton is Two nights ago, we had a demonstration for a ladder truck, and the town of Clayton has needed and wanted a ladder truck to continue to provide that excellent service for about 25 years. And you couldn't walk by Jason Dean without him saying, When is that ladder truck coming? Mayor? When's that ladder truck coming? And the latter truck came two days ago and the Town council had the opportunity to see it and experience it to know that this was the perfect piece of equipment that we need to go forward from a small town to a mid size towns, and Jason's wife went to his hospital bed and let him know that today was the day that the fire truck, the ladder truck came to click and that it was All systems go, and he blinked twice. So we know Jason knew that that latter truck was here in the town of Clayton on That brings a lot of joy to me in a time of great sorry. Right now, the arrangements for his services are incomplete at this time. We may know something a little bit later, this afternoon or first thing tomorrow, but we will definitely keep the public informed as to what that is because we know there's gonna be a great outpouring of support for such a fine, outstanding Clayton boy who made us all proud. Thank you. Thank you guys very much. We appreciate it. We will let you guys know about arrangements in any public service. Um, we asked for the public's continued support. The Clayton Fire Fighters Association does have a fun set up, and all of that money will go Thio, the Deen family and the other families of the fire department. Um, as many of you know, we still have another Clayton firefighter that is in the hospital. Um, and we are. Mm. We are optimistic about his recovery as well. Um, and there is a spouse of a Clayton firefighter who is still in the hospital. Eso your continued prayers and support do mean a lot to the families. Um, I am one myself. My husband is a firefighter here, and, um, the fire chief who is standing by, um, but knows that he would get choked up like I did. Um, he has been a father figure and a mentor and a friend to all of these firefighters. Jason included. He took him on as a young man on and and it was at a time when the Clayton Fire Department, as Mayor pro TEM Jason Thompson, alluded to it was about fighting fires. But Jason was about rescuing. He was about getting into small confined spaces or jumping on a boat or climbing the water tower toe. You know, rescue a man who was doing the, you know, power lines. Um, and and he really brought rescue here. And that's what Chief would like people to know Is that, you know, Chief gave him the support to to bring rescue and Thio increase the amount of service level that this Fire Department brings to people, no matter what happened, Jason was ready for it. Um, he prepared. He trained, he prepared. Um, the chief always said, You know, let's bring training back to the basics, and that means training and practicing and training and practicing so that when you did have something happened, it was just There was no thought. It was all practiced and it was just done. And that's what Jason will live on as the public information officer for the town. Every event that we had in town had a usually 7 to 12 page I AP that Jason put together, which was an incident action plan. So whether it was the Christmas plate or the drive for there were instructions for What do you do when this happens? Where do you go? If this happens, who do you call if this happens? So I know Jason is somewhere planning his own memorial in public service with a 12 page I P. Because that's what he did. He prepared for the worst eso that we were already, Um and this firefighter family is hurting today, and we will miss him very much. So again, we appreciate everyone's support on Thank you very much for helping to tell Jason story. Thank you. Thank you.