The Palm Coast Fire Department dedicated Fire Engine 24 in memory of council member Cathy Heighter’s son during a Gold Star dedication ceremony.
The ceremony at Station 25 over the Memorial Day weekend dedicated the engine to Army Cpl. Raheen Tyson Heighter, who died serving in Iraq in 2003, according to a press release from the city.
Each year for Memorial Day, the PCFD dedicates a fire apparatus to a service member whose name is inscribed on the Veterans Memorial at Heroes Memorial Park. Gold Star families are the families of military personnel who have died in service.
The PCFD took delivery of the 2023 E-ONE Typhoon truck earlier this year. It was placed into front-line service at Fire Station 24 at 1500 Palm Harbor Parkway.
In 2021, Ladder 25 was dedicated to the memory of Marine Sergeant Zachary J. Walters, and in 2022, Engine 21 was dedicated to the memory of Marine Lance Corporal John T. Schmidt III.
Raheen Heighter enlisted several months before 9/11 at age 20 and died on July 24, 2003, when his convoy was ambushed. The county recognized him as the featured veteran during its Memorial Day ceremony.
The idea for dedicating a fire truck to the memory of soldiers who died in service was proposed by Firefighter-Paramedic and Navy veteran Christopher Strozier.
“We often forget why we have the rights and freedoms we do,” Strozier said. “Dedicating the fire engine to the memory of Gold Star Families is a small way to show our appreciation for what they have sacrificed.”