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Procession honors fallen Iowa volunteer firefighter

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Dozens of fire trucks and emergency vehicles rolled through New Sharon Thursday to honor Gary DeCook, the Barnes City volunteer firefighter who died unexpectedly Aug. 27. Following the funeral service, the fire trucks led the procession to the cemetery. “You’re not just a fireman. You’re a brother,” said Michael Cox, who is also on the Barnes City Volunteer Fire Department. “It’s a brotherhood.” DeCook’s fellow firefighters found a special way to honor him by driving the firetruck he had helped convert from an Army vehicle. “To get it running today was a real big thing for us because it needed a little bit of work,” Cox said. “But we overnighted some stuff here and got it.” Those who knew DeCook well described him as having a passion to help people. And the community returned its thanks by showing up in large numbers. “Every fire department within a couple of counties had representation here,” said Russell Van Renterghem, the Mahaska County Sheriff. “And that was just an honor towards Gary as well. Just to show how well respected and how well loved he was.”

Dozens of fire trucks and emergency vehicles rolled through New Sharon Thursday to honor Gary DeCook, the Barnes City volunteer firefighter who died unexpectedly Aug. 27.

Following the funeral service, the fire trucks led the procession to the cemetery.

“You’re not just a fireman. You’re a brother,” said Michael Cox, who is also on the Barnes City Volunteer Fire Department. “It’s a brotherhood.”

DeCook’s fellow firefighters found a special way to honor him by driving the firetruck he had helped convert from an Army vehicle.

“To get it running today was a real big thing for us because it needed a little bit of work,” Cox said. “But we overnighted some stuff here and got it.”

Those who knew DeCook well described him as having a passion to help people. And the community returned its thanks by showing up in large numbers.

“Every fire department within a couple of counties had representation here,” said Russell Van Renterghem, the Mahaska County Sheriff. “And that was just an honor towards Gary as well. Just to show how well respected and how well loved he was.”

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