ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) -- A public memorial service for South Metro Fire Rescue's former Chief of Operations, Troy Jackson, will be held Friday. Officials said Jackson passed away peacefully Monday morning from adenoid cystic carcinoma -- a rare job-related cancer.
South Metro with hold a full honors memorial service for Chief Jackson at Denver First Church, at 3800 E. Hampden Ave. in Englewood, beginning at 11 a.m. It will be followed by an emergency vehicle procession around 1:20 p.m.
Chief Jackson had battled the rare form of cancer for six years. Firefighters are often covered in soot and other chemicals after a fire, and that's when carcinogens can absorb into their skin. Dirty bunker gear was once a badge of honor for a job well-done, but after his diagnosis, Chief Jackson pushed for change.
South Metro Fire Rescue Chief of Operations Jon Adams said Chief Jackson always looked out for those around him. In 2018, he showed CBS4's Kelly Werthmann buckets the department put on every rig, so crews can wash their gear and reduce the carcinogens brought back to the station.
"It didn't change his diagnosis, and it wouldn't cure his cancer," Adams explained. "But for him it was about how do I make sure everyone goes home safe or make sure they don't have to go through six years of radiation, chemotherapy, surgeries and hospital visits. That's just the guy he was."
Adams added that Chief Jackson leaves behind a living legacy at South Metro Fire Rescue. He helped to draft the rookie book probationary firefighters still use to this day, and was critical in changing how they teach recruits in fire academy over the years.
"There isn't one thing we are doing today that he hasn't touched or had an impact on," Adams said.
Adams said despite his illness, Chief Jackson attended SMFR's most recent fire academy graduation. And just this past week, he attended his daughter's graduation in Grand Junction. She was sworn in as a law enforcement officer in the Denver metro area earlier this month.
"He's just an amazing guy," Adams said. "I'm really going to miss him."
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