Sen. Jacobsen honored by national volunteer fire council |

Sen. Jacobsen honored by national volunteer fire council

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Firefighter Honor Guards from Las Vegas, Clark County and Sparks enter the Nevada Firefighter Memorial Service at Mills Park on Saturday.

The head of the National Volunteer Fire Council presented the family of Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen a special award Saturday for his many contributions to firefighters over a 60-year period.

Jacobsen, who died in July 2006 at age 85, championed the needs of firefighters statewide as well as serving as a member of the Douglas County volunteer firefighters for 60 years.

“This award I had created specifically for this occasion and it may never be awarded again,” said Fire Council Chairman Philip Stittleburg in presenting the award to Jacobsen’s wife Betty. “I did so because I learned of the achievements of Senator Jacobsen and found them so special.”

Jacobsen served on numerous civic and community boards and groups throughout his life. When he retired, he was also the longest serving member of the Nevada Legislature in state history, with a total of 40 years in the assembly and senate.

At the same time, Mike Smith, Nevada director of the Fire Council, presented Jacobsen’s widow with the group’s lifetime achievement award.

The presentations was made in a ceremony at the firefighter’s memorial at the east end of Mills Park.

During that ceremony, a memorial was held to honor three Nevada firefighters who died this past year, all three from southern Nevada.

Richard Washington Jr., 49, died of an on-duty heart attack in August. He was a 17-year veteran of the Clark County Fire Department.

Robert Thomas Corse, 50, also died of a heart attack in September. He was a 15-year veteran of the Clark County Fire department.

Mark Thomas Keeton, 44, died of cancer May 8.

Both cancer and heart disease are considered illnesses in the line of duty for firefighters because of the stress of the job and because of the carcinogens firefighters are exposed to at a fire.

Their three names were added to the memorial’s wall, bringing the total number of firemen who have died in the line of duty in Nevada to 56.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.