A Hero’s Farewell: Last Call Sounds For Fallen District Fire Chief Bradshaw (With Photo Gallery)

November 13, 2019

Funeral services will held Tuesday for Escambia Fire Rescue District Chief Dwain Bradshaw.

Bradshaw, 41, lost his life last week in the line of duty on scene of a fatal crash on the Muscogee Bridge. He was a volunteer district chief at the Bellview Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, volunteer assistant district chief for the Beulah Station of Escambia Fire Rescue, and lived a life of public service.

“Dwain Bradshaw. Dwain had a servant’s heart and a concern for others,” Beulah District Chief Steve McNair said during the funeral service at Hillcrest Baptist Church. Bradshaw was set to take over as Beulah chief after McNair’s retirement. “His heart was in training. He wanted everyone to be the best at what they did.”

“He was the Statue of Liberty who held a beacon of light to help others find their way. He loved his country; he served his country, and he fought for his country for our freedom,” the Beulah chief continued. “He loved Escambia County Fire Rescue and strived to make it better.”

“Dwain would tell you never leave home to start your shift without telling your family that you love them, and giving them a kiss.Because none of us ever know that when we leave if we will be able to do that again. Try to make yourself and your fellow brothers and sisters better,” McNair told the firefighters in attendance. “Just remember family first, service always.”

“I first met Dwain when he was about 10 or 11 years old when his father Dwain, Sr. joined the fire department,” Escambia Fire Chief Paul Williams said as he reminisced about watching him grow up into a man dedicated to service. “He was a man who devoted his entire adult life to serving not only his country, but serving his community. Also not only a man who gave in life, but continued to give in his death as an organ donor. That’s a legacy that Dwain will leave.”

“Dwain and I started in the fire services as junior fighters at Ensley,” an emotional Ferry Pass District Chief Mike Aaron said. “Dwain was there for me from the beginning to the end…Dwain would be proud today…He loved the fire service. He loves all of you. Y’all make what today is going to be, special for him. All I ask is let’s do it right. Let’s show him the honor, and let’s show him the respect, and thank you.”

Bradshaw was also a Department of Defense firefighter at Naval Air Station Pensacola, an U.S. Army veteran, a member of the Mississippi Air National Guard and a former police officer in Bay Minette.

A lengthy funeral procession with dozens of emergency vehicles from departments across the Gulf Coast traveled from Hillcrest Baptist along Nine Mile and Pine Forest roads to his final resting place at Pensacola Memorial Gardens. Bradshaw’s flag-draped coffin was carried open-air in the back of an antique fire engine.  Along the way, people line the roadway, many holding flags blowing in a frigid north wind. Some stood with their hands over their hearts.

During the graveside service, Bradshaw was honored with a 21-gun salute and a flyover by LifeFlight.

A fireman’s bell tolled in his honor, and an Escambia County Fire dispatcher conducted a “last call” over the county’s fire radio system to his  radio number “101″.

“Escambia to 101,”  the dispatcher called with no response.

“Escambia to Chief Dwain Bradshaw,” the dispatcher said, her voice resounding across the handheld radios at the service.

The radio silence was broken again, this time by tones used to alert firefighters to important information, followed by:

“There is no response from Chief Drain Bradshaw. Chief Dwain Bradshaw has answered his last call. The members of Escambia Fire Rescue thank Chief Dwain Bradshaw for his years of service to the citizens of Escambia County. Although you are gone sir, you will never be forgotten.”

For a photo gallery, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos by William Reynolds/NorthEscambia.com, Kristi Barbour/NorthEscambia.com, Meg Burke/Milestones Studios, and Damien Roberts/Milestones Studios, click to enlarge.


One Response to “A Hero’s Farewell: Last Call Sounds For Fallen District Fire Chief Bradshaw (With Photo Gallery)”

  1. Karl Brandon on November 13th, 2019 8:33 am

    Thank you Dwain you sir were a GREAT friend, MENTOR, and BROTHER. Until we meet again! Save me a seat……..

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