CFD Captain Herbert 'Herbie' Johnson added to 'Wall of Fallen Heroes'

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Sunday, March 22, 2015
Captain Herbert ?Herbie? Johnson added to ?Wall of Fallen Heroes?
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Chicago firefighters honored one of their own as they dedicated the badge of Captain Herbert "Herbie" Johnson.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More than two years after a veteran Chicago Fire Department captain was killed fighting a house fire, his family, friends, the fire commissioner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel gathered Saturday to honor his service and sacrifice.

Chicago firefighters honored one of their own as they dedicated the badge of Captain Herbert "Herbie" Johnson, who died in November 2012 while saving several families and children from an extra alarm house fire.

"It's definitely an emotional day for all of us, but it's very nice they did have his badge put up for us," said daughter Lori Johnson.

The badge of the 30-year-plus CFD veteran was added to the Wall of Fallen Heroes Saturday afternoon. His joins 566 badges of other Chicago firefighters and paramedics killed in the line of duty.

"It also gives up a place to reflect and ensures that Herbie will never be forgotten," said District Chief of Training Don Hroma, Chicago Fire Department.

Johnson's widow and children attended the ceremony at the Robert J. Quinn Chicago Fire Academy. His siblings, who are also dedicated to public service, also attended. All are either firefighters or Chicago Police officers.

"We enjoyed him and loved him, but today, two and a half years later we miss him. It's tough," said brother John Johnson.

"I was off. He was in my spot for that day. When I heard the news, I had the worst thought," said firefighter Dan McAuliffe.

A federal investigation following the firefighting veteran's death blamed poor communication as a factor in the accident. Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago says Johnson did not die in vain.

"We're communicating. We have a lot of plans about how we do our tactics," Santiago said.

Johnson was also remembered for his larger than life personality and wide smile.

The dedication ended at Firefighters Memorial Park, where a brick was installed with Johnson's name on it to symbolize his dedication, enthusiasm and passion, not only for the job and his family, but also for the city of Chicago.