Omaha Fire Capt. John Goessling remembered 20...

Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 19:20:04-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- Friends and fellow Omaha firefighters remembered Fire Capt. John Goessling on the 20th anniversery of his death.


On April 23rd, 1996, a fire ran rampid inside a Dollar General in North Omaha.


The roof collapsed, trapping and killing Omaha Fire Capt. John Goessling.


"You look at the calander and all of a sudden you realize…it's been 20 years,” said Steve LeClair, President of the Omaha Professional Firefighters Association. LeClair worked with the city council on a proclamation to declare April 23rd “Captain John Goessling Day” in the city.


On Tuesday, Omaha City Council passed that proclamation.


LeClair said the proclamation shows his family that Goessling is still in their thoughts.


Goessling is one of 56 firefighters who have died on the job since the department was formed.


LeClair hopes someday each firefighter has a significant memorial.


For now they're starting small, trying to rename a portion of North 30th Street for Goessling.


"I was glad to call him a partner and a friend," said Jerry Reuss, a retired firefighter.


Jerry Reuss was in the same recruit class as Goessling in 1981.


"I think naming a street after somebody is minimal compared to what they give," Ruess said.


Goessling’s three sons, Dan, Nathan and Josh, have all followed in their late father's footsteps by becoming firefighters themselves.


Ruess said it's because they saw how much their father loved his job.