LODD: Tenn. training lieutenant dies from COVID-19 complications

Shelby County Fire Department Lt. Terry Watts, 51, served with the department for 15 years and trained many of its members

Duty Death: Terry Watts - [Shelby County, Tennessee]

End of Service: 02/10/2021

By Laura French

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A Tennessee fire training lieutenant has died in the line of duty due to COVID-19. 

Shelby County Fire Department Lt. Terry Watts, 51, died Wednesday night from complications from the virus, Fire Chief Alvin D. Benson announced. Watts contracted the virus in January while on-duty at the department, according to the U.S. Fire Administration

"Among the fire fighters, administration, dispatchers and many many others throughout fire departments all over the mid-south, Terry will be so fondly remembered and our collective thoughts are steadfastly with his spouse, four children and all of the members of his family," Benson said in a statement. 

Watts had been with the department since 2006, previously serving with the Jackson, Tennessee Fire Department. He was responsible for the professional training of many firefighters, who Benson says will "carry his legacy well into our futures." 

"Known to be incredibly compassionate to everyone he met, he taught others how to smile, how to laugh, how to endure – he taught us how to learn," Benson wrote. 


From Fire Chief Alvin D. Benson: It is with our most profound sadness that we here at the Shelby County Fire Department...

Posted by Shelby County Fire Department on Wednesday, February 10, 2021


Join the discussion


National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and help to honor America's fallen firefighters

Donate now

Copyright © 2021 FireRescue1. All rights reserved.