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Big Rock firefighter remembered by friends, colleagues

Bob Brown (center) tearfully thanks firefighters for their show support after funeral for his wife Dawn Saturday November 17 2012

Bob Brown (center) tearfully thanks firefighters for their show of support at after the funeral for his wife, Dawn, on Saturday, November 17, 2012, in Big Rock. Dawn Brown, a firefighter with the Bristol-Kendall fire department and paramedic with the Big Rock fire district, was killed earlier this week by a dog she had recently taken in. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 19, 2012 11:54AM

BIG ROCK — The Big Rock and Bristol/Kendall fire departments remembered one of their own at a memorial service Saturday — caring and adventurous firefighter Dawn Brown.

Brown, a 44-year-old Bristol-Kendall firefighter and Big Rock paramedic, died of injuries she sustained during a dog attack in her Big Rock home Monday afternoon.

Brown and her husband, Bob, had recently taken the mastiff into their home to prevent it from being put down.

A processional of three dozen fire trucks and ambulances traveled from Sugar Grove Fire Department to the English Congregational Church of Christ in Big Rock Saturday, passing under an American flag hung from atop a Bristol-Kendall truck ladder on Rhodes Street.

About 200 firefighters from more than a dozen area fire departments lined the street, saluting the urn as it was taken into the standing room-only church. Amazing Grace played as friends and family filed into the pews.

Big Rock Fire Captain Debra Raymond, the department’s EMS coordinator, trained and worked alongside Brown for ten years.

“She was one of the kindest individuals I’ve ever met in my life,” Raymond said. “She touched so many of us in so many ways. Dawn was a mentor and a mother to many.”

Raymond said she’ll always remember Brown for something they’d do as they were ending their paramedic shifts.

“Dawn and I always hugged at the end of her shift and said, ‘Good job, nice work today,’” she said.

Clutching Dawn’s helmet, Bob Brown quietly thanked firefighters after the service. He joined the fire service at the same time as his wife, Raymond said.

The week has been a difficult one for the two small departments, Raymond said. Surrounding fire departments covered shifts at Big Rock and Bristol-Kendall Saturday to allow for the full departments to attend the memorial service.

“The fire service is not just a calling. It is truly an extended family,” Raymond said.

Trucks and ambulances from Big Rock, Bristol-Kendall, Sugar Grove, Kaneville, Little Rock, Plano, Elburn, Maple Park, Aurora Township, Waterman, Oswego, Montgomery, Leland, Fermilab, Hinkley, Riverdale, Plainfield and North Aurora participated in the procession. Representatives from the Kane County Sheriff’s office and Hazelcrest, Lisle and Woodridge fire departments also attended to memorial.

Memorials may be directed in Dawn’s memory to the Dawn Brown Educational Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 665 Oswego, IL, 60543.

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