Fire chief apologizes for removal of memorial stickers

Chief Tavis Leake said the department is in the process of creating a memorial sticker honoring all three fallen firefighters

By FireRescue1 Staff

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. — A fire chief issued an apology after telling crews they had to remove memorial stickers from department trucks.

KSN reported that Sedgwick County Fire Chief Tavis Leake sent an email to staff members in reference to the removal of firefighter Bryon "Bubba" Johnson stickers. Firefighter Johnson was killed in the line of duty in 2007 and stickers were placed on several fire trucks in memoriam.

"I take full responsibility for this action," Chief Leake wrote in an email. "Taking down the stickers was never meant to offend Bryon's memory or his family. I apologize to anyone who was offended by my actions. The intention is to have a sticker that includes all of our fallen members."

Chief Leake said they are in the process of creating a memorial sticker honoring all three fallen Sedgwick County firefighters.

"The removal and replacement of the sticker was to be inclusive to all of the fallen firefighters, not just one fallen member, but all of them, to be inclusive to the Lloyd family, the Colton family and the Johnson family," Chief Leake said. "There was no disrespect intended. It was simply to honor all of our members and that’s what we did."

Chief Leake said he is working on a memorial sticker policy, which will specify how many stickers will be allowed on the trucks and placement.

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