Funeral, procession held for fallen Jacksonville firefighter

A procession of about 100 emergency vehicles, family and friends ended at the evergreen cemetery, the final resting stop for firefighter Michael Freeland.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Saturday morning, hundreds filled a church in Jacksonville to remember the life and legacy of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department firefighter Michael Freeland.

Freeland died Thursday, Nov. 11 while working a crash involving a U-Haul truck. There were live wires near the crash scene.  At this time, his cause of death is under investigation.

Freeland was a firefighter for over seven years. He was 36 years old and engaged to be married at the time of his death.

A procession of about 100 emergency vehicles, family and friends, ended at the evergreen cemetery, the final resting stop for firefighter Freeland.

“He was always in service to people he wanted people to feel good and to be okay,” Toni Yates, a Family member, said.

At the Shiloh Metropolitan Church, colleagues, friends, and family members like Toni Yates remembered Freeland.

“Very uplifting service, a celebration of Michael’s life and what Michael stood for. As was talked about in there over and over again Michael had a servant’s heart and it showed today with the way the community came out in support of him and family in this trying time,” said JFRD Chief Keith Powers.

Inside the church stories about his service were shared and after, a procession filled the streets.

“One pastor talked about Mike being stationed at the airport and when he got off the plane with his family the pastor started having heart issues. Once Mike made sure that the pastor was okay, he went over to make sure his kids were okay, that’s something that really touched my cousin T, his mother because we love to hear that Mike touched so many lives and we appreciate it,” said Yates.

Those who knew him say he will be remembered for his dedication to community service.

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