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Statue will honor Jamestown firefighters

Photo courtesy / SVJ Creative Design This 75-inch-tall statue is planned for the grounds of the Jamestown Fire Department. The statue will be paid for from memorial funds given on behalf of Jerry Kainz. The Jamestown Fire Department deputy chief died in July. A plaque reading “To all firefighters, past, present and future” will be attached to the statue.

A project to honor Jamestown firefighters is proceeding after the City Council gave approval for the placement of a life-sized statue on the grounds of the city fire hall Monday.

“It is something I’ve wanted to do for some time,” said Jim Reuther, fire chief.

The plan would place a 75-inch tall concrete statue in front of the flagpole on the east side of the building. A plaque reading, “To all firefighters, past, present and future” would be attached to the statue.

The statue would be made by SVJ Creative Design of Kellogg, Minn. The company’s website lists a price of about $2,700 for the statue, although Reuther said the exact price and transportation costs are still being negotiated.

“It will be paid for entirely from memorials we received for Jerry Kainz,” Reuther said. “We’ve talked to his family and they support this use for the funds.”

Kainz had served as a volunteer with the Jamestown Fire Department for 46 years and rose to the rank of deputy chief before passing away suddenly July 7. His family had specified a number of organizations, including the Jamestown Fire Department, for memorials.

Chad Kainz, Jerry Kainz’s son, said the family saw the statue as honoring more people than just his dad.

“The fire department is really important to our family,” he said. “For the fire department to remember him and all firefighters that way, we see as a great thing. It is very touching to us.”

The statue is only part of what Reuther envisions as a memorial to the city’s firefighters.

“We’d like to include a brick walkway to include the names of firefighters who have passed,” he said. “We’re still working out the details on how that will work.”

Reuther said current firefighters will install the statue and construct the brick walkway.

“I’d like to have it in place in September,” he said. “We don’t know if that will be feasible.”

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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