Memorial unveiled on one year anniversary of fallen firefighter's death

Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-10 19:57:37-04

 For firefighters a locker means one of many things.

"It's kind of like your bedroom at home if you have your own," said Michael Tobin, the City of Lansing's Chief of Emergency Management.

But it's one locker in particular at Lansing's Fire Station One which will serve a purpose unlike any other.

The Lansing Fire Department unveiled a locker Friday honoring fallen firefighter Dennis Rodeman. The locker will be on display at Lansing's Fire Department museum located at Fire Station One.

Rodeman was killed in a hit-and-run while raising money for the Lansing Fire Department's "Fill The Boot" charity campaign.

Rodeman's friends, family, and coworkers gathered to get a first glimpse of the locker during Friday's private memorial service.

"This is a hand crafted solid wood locker made by the same gentleman that made all of our kitchen tables in our fire stations, the other focal point of the firehouse," said Tobin.

On top of the locker is the number 371, which was Rodeman's badge number.

"It's glass encased, it's lit, has a plaque on it and it's absolutely beautiful," said Tobin.

Bill Pawluck worked side by side for Rodeman's entire seven year career. Pawluck says Rodeman is a man he'll never forget.

"Dennis was always having a good time, always made the day better, whether it was the fire house banner or pranks," said Pawluck. "He was just a fun guy to be around."

Rodeman's death is still hard to talk about for these brave men and women, but it's memorials like this assuring them Dennis is still by their side.

"If you wanted to take a picture or snapshot of a perfect definition of what a firefighter is, that would be Dennis," said Tobin.

The museum and Rodeman's memorial is open to the public at Lansing's Fire Station One during normal business hours.

Fire Station One is open Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.