Racing fans packed State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain Saturday. It was the first day of the racing season and a chance for fans to remember racing icon, Dick Trickle.More >>
Racing fans packed State Park Speedway in Rib Mountain Saturday. It was the first day of the racing season and a chance for fans to remember racing icon, Dick Trickle. People at the track observed a moment of silence for Trickle. He died Thursday in an apparent suicide at the age of 71. Race organizers said the event brought in more than 1,500 fans to watch the season's opening race and to remember Trickle's successful career."More >>
Almost three months after Colby volunteer firefighter Jamison Kampmeyer's death, his legacy lives on.
"Obviously he left a lasting impression on a lot of people, pretty much on everybody," said Colby fire department chief Ross Rannow.
"I remember his smile," said Chad Stiles, who works as a police officer, fire fighter and paramedic in the Milwaukee area. "And that's one thing a lot of people that have mentioned on the Facebook page, that they remember his smile."
Stiles met Kampmeyer at a SWAT conference and was shocked to learn of his death.
In March, Kampmeyer was fighting a fire at the historic Abby Theatre in Abbotsford when the roof collapsed. Kampmeyer was trapped inside.
At the funeral, Stiles and his partner were inspired to create a special tribute for Kampmeyer -- a cover story on a Wisconsin EMS magazine.
"We take that risk all the time and it was very emotional to try to write it," said Stiles.
Stiles said it's an opportunity to share the story of a brave man. Money from magazine sales will benefit Kampmeyer's family.
"Usually it just goes out to EMS providers and fire departments but we wanted to extend it out so everybody can remember him for the service that he gave," said Stiles.
And besides the magazine -- support continues to pour in. That includes at the Colby fire department where Kampmeyer volunteered. Chief Rannow said he's received cards and letters from around the country. Each week he hears from various groups wanting to honor Kampmeyer and help his family.
"An Eagle Scout got ahold of me and they want to do a project in front of the fire station with a little wall and bronze statue with the national fallen firefighter memorial attached to it," said Rannow. "It's very heartwarming to know that you live in a community that is that warm and helpful to everybody."
More events are slated for this summer in Kampmeyer's honor -- keeping his memory alive.
"It's kind of humbling to think that you're a small volunteer fire department in a small community but when tragedy strikes, it strikes everybody," said Rannow.
If you want to get a copy of the magazine, you can go to Brandt Photo & Graphix -- 105 S. Division St. in Colby. Organizers are asking for a $10 minimum donation and proceeds will benefit the Kampmeyer family.
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