Portage Park firefighters sell t-shirts honoring fallen hero Mashawn Plummer with fire station memorial

PORTAGE PARK — Mashawn Plummer smiles in a portrait hanging above the bench he sat on outside the Engine 94 fire station, where he greeted neighborhood dogs and passers-by.

Plummer died in December while battling a fire in Belmont Cragin that killed another man and seriously injured two others. He had just celebrated his first birthday with the fire department and had worked at the Portage Park Fire Station for about five months, Engine 94 Captain John Ciszek said.

To honor Plummer’s life and service, Ciszek and other firefighters have kept his memory alive in the cozy firehouse with portraits, artwork, plaques and maps lining the living room walls of Engine 94.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The name of deceased firefighter and EMT Mashawn J. Plummer is inscribed on a banner at the Chicago Fire Department Engine 94 in Portage Park on February 15, 2022.

But the Portage Park team wants a more permanent memorial for Plummer, who was one of the house’s youngest firefighters at just 30. His colleagues sell T-shirts to remember him. They have the engine logo on the front and Plummer’s signature phrase – “Make ’em all proud” – on the back.

Money raised from the t-shirts will be used to create a memorial outside the station for Plummer, said firefighter Robert “Bob” Brady, who is organizing the t-shirt sale.

Plans for the memorial are in the works, but the crew would like it to include a bronze statue of boots, a coat, and a helmet with a plaque near the outside bench.

“He was always on that bench feeding the dogs,” Brady said. “…We all agreed to put something out there for Plummer.”

Brady has been in contact with local artists and is studying the price of the memorial, which he hopes will be completed by the anniversary of Plummer’s death.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A portrait of a deceased firefighter and EMT Mashawn J. Plummer adorns the wall of Chicago Fire Department Engine 94 in Portage Park on February 15, 2022.

Ciszek and Brady weren’t on Plummer’s shift and only worked with him once, but they chatted between shifts and said Plummer was always keen to be on the team. .

“He was always smiling and happy to help out,” Ciszek said. “He was so eager to learn.”

For Brady, who has been a firefighter for 16 years, Plummer’s death was emotional. It only really hit him after Plummer funeral, which was attended by hundreds of family members, friends and firefighters. Other vigils and prayer services were held in Plummer’s honor outside the fire station.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Brady said of Plummer’s funeral. “The family only has one chance to say goodbye.”

Plummer grew up in Englewood and loved comic books, nature, and music. He was a huge White Sox and Bears fan and played football at Quincy University. He always wanted a service career, which led him to the fire department, his family wrote in their obituary.

“He really loved being a firefighter and EMT,” his family wrote. “The world is a safer place because [the Fire Department] allowed a superhero to do what he loved.

Plummer’s fire station comrades want to make him proud — just like he made his family, friends and the department proud, Brady said.

T-shirts are $20 for small, medium, large, and extra-large and $25 for 2XL, 3XL, or 4XL. People interested in purchasing a shirt and supporting the memorial effort can contact Brady at 847-344-9303. Orders are cash only and must be placed by February 28.

If people would like to donate to the Mashawn Plummer Memorial Fund, checks can be mailed to the Fire Chaplain’s Office at 4200 N. Austin Ave. and made out to Father Tom Mulcrone. In the check memo, write “Mashawn Plummer Fund”.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Firefighter Bob Brady shows the name of deceased firefighter and EMT MaShawn J. Plummer at the Chicago Fire Department Engine 94 in Portage Park on February 15, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A portrait of the deceased firefighter and EMT Mashawn Plummer adorns the wall of Chicago Fire Department Engine 94 in Portage Park on February 15, 2022.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A shadow cutout for fallen firefighter and EMT MaShawn J. Plummer stands outside Chicago Fire Department Engine 94 in Portage Park on February 15, 2022.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3) newsroom run by journalists. Every penny we earn funds neighborhoods across Chicago.

Click on here to support Block Club with a tax deductible donation.

Thank you for subscribing to Block Club Chicago, an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom. Every penny we make funds Chicago neighborhoods. Click on here to support Block Club with a tax deductible donation.

Listen to “It’s Alright: A Block Club Chicago Podcast” Here:

Comments are closed.