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Gerald “Mac” Kerr McGowan

Acting Captain

Acting Captain McGowan and the members of his engine company were responding to an apartment fire in their first-due area. The company was responding with emergency lights and siren in operation on a 4-lane roadway. Traffic in the right-hand lane stopped to yield for the responding engine, and a car stopped in the left-hand lane. As the engine crossed the center line to go around the stopped traffic, the car in the left-hand lane attempted to execute a left-hand turn. The engine veered to the left in an attempt to avoid a collision, struck the turning vehicle, struck a vehicle parked in the opposing direction of traffic, struck a utility pole, and then struck a large tree. The seating position of Acting Captain McGowan bore the brunt of the collision. Acting Captain McGowan was extricated and transported to a hospital. He was unresponsive when first assessed and never regained heart functions. He was pronounced dead at the hospital as a result of his injuries. The driver of the turning vehicle was operating without a valid driver?019s license. Acting Captain McGowan was not wearing a seat belt, the apparatus driver was wearing a seat belt, and the seat belt usage of the 2 passenger firefighters was unknown.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Gerald “Mac” Kerr McGowan was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Kansas City Fire Department
414 E 12th St.
Kansas City, Missouri 64106

Chief: Richard ;Smoky' Dyer

Age: 57
Rank: Acting Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: September 5, 2004 17:15
Date of death: September 5, 2004
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Responding
Fixed property use: Street/Road

Last updated: March 27, 2018

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Honoring line-of-duty deaths in 2019