Monday, March 26, 2012


(Entry #2 today...) I typically shy away from sad posts, but something happened in our small community earlier this month that warrants acknowledgement. A little less than a month ago, Jamison Kampmeyer (a police officer, EMT, and volunteer firefighter in Colby) was killed while fighting a fire at the Abbotsford theatre. While I didn't know Jamison overly well, the news hit me hard. I mean hard. I cried so much, and I just couldn't help but think about how much of a tragedy it was and how often we take people in those professions for granted. Not that anyone is probably overly interested, but I thought I'd share the story of that day for me. It's almost too eerie for words.

I spent that weekend in La Crosse, and on Sunday morning, L and I were laying there talking about movies we enjoy. It's not that uncommon for us to have random conversations like that, and as we talked about my expansive movie collection, I said that despite owning the movie, one movie I always watch when it's on TV (or throw in my DVD player on a lazy day) is Ladder 49. In case you're unfamiliar, it's a movie centered around a man named Jack who becomes a firefighter with the NYFD and ultimately loses his life while battling a blaze. I was telling L how there are certain parts of that movie that just break my heart, namely the part where the infamous red car pulls up outside Jack's house and his wife realizes what happened to him. The eerie part I mentioned earlier? Well, L and I were having this conversation on the day Jamison was killed, but BEFORE the fire had even started that day. Is that not crazy? Maybe it's just me, but it kind of gave me chills because I had just been talking about the fact that my dad is a firefighter and that I rarely had "bad" thoughts when he'd leave for a fire. All of this was part of our conversation through pure coincidence. So odd. Later that day, my mom sent me a text to let me know that the fire had started, and my question back to her was, "Are you serious?! Is there anyone inside?" I was thinking of the customers when I asked that question, and even still, I really didn't have much of a passing thought about the fire other than the fact that I was sad the Abby Theater was burning down. I did ask if my dad was at the fire, but fortunately they were heading out of town for a convention. Anyway, a few hours later, I got the call to tell me that Jamison was killed in the fire. I was still with L, and all I could do was cry. Fortunately, he was very supportive, and sadly, this is not the first time he's been with me when I found out about something tragic like this. In July of last year, I was with L when I found out that I lost my dear friend Andy. Not fun to experience those moments at all, but it's nice to be with someone who is caring, comforting, and supportive. The news hit me (and A LOT of people) really hard, and I still think about Jamison and his family on a daily basis. Such a young, vibrant life, taken way too soon. I've included some pictures below, none of which are mine, but all of which I got from a Facebook page honoring him. (I apologize for not crediting all of the photos accordingly, but rest assured, I am only using them for the purpose of this entry.)

Rest in peace, Jamison. You are loved and will never be forgotten.

Jamison hard at work.

Simple, but true.

A glimpse of the emergency vehicles lined up for the procession.

The truck that carried Jamison to his final resting place.

Hundreds of squad cars lined up to honor Jamison.

Jamison and his son. How amazingly fitting.
(Out of order, but this is how I choose to remember him.)

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