Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Firefighters Plan Trip to Colleague's Funeral

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Firefighters Plan Trip to Colleague's Funeral

Article excerpt

More than a dozen firefighters with the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service will make a cross-country trip to attend the funeral of a colleague who died early May 6.

Douglas "PJ" Bean, 29, died in a flash flood in Madison, S.D. He had worked as a firefighter/paramedic with the fire department since 2008.

Authorities said Bean was crossing a flooded creek with some friends when he drowned. It rained about 6 inches in a short amount of time, flooding the creek and several homes, said Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Chief Alan Martin.

"He and some other people were going to walk across, and they believe that he lost his footing and was swept away," Martin said.

Bean was one of the department's two firefighters from Alaska. He moved to Tuscaloosa to receive paramedic training at the Alabama Fire College and worked with Northstar EMS before being hired by the city.

"He always conducted himself in a way that would make his family proud and our department proud," Martin said. …

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