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Fire Chief Honored in Comanche County

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COMANCHE CO., Okla_ Hundreds gathered at the Letitia Baptist Church in Comanche County Tuesday to say goodbye to a local legend, Al Dreves, the chief at the Cox's Store Volunteer Fire Department.
 
Dreves lost his battle with cancer last Thursday. Tuesday, family, friends and fellow firefighters packed the church to remember a man who wore many hats and gave his all to everything he did. After serving as Fire Chief of the Cox's Store Volunteer Fire Department for 17 years, firefighters said they wanted to drive him past his station one last time.
 
As the bagpipes played Danny Boy, and family members walked towards his casket, everyone in the room stands quietly, as they remember the late Chief Al Dreves. Dreves' cousin-in-law, Tim Peterson, said he was a man who lived life to the fullest but didn't fear death.

"He was able to, as an army pilot, fly into battle," Peterson said. "He was willing to, as a fireman, go in and save people's lives. He was willing to, as a grandpa, make sure those kids were taken care of. He wasn't afraid to live, and he wasn't afraid to die, because he lived well. If you knew him, you knew him."

Many of the firefighters say they agree with that. They say Dreves managed to be a leader during sometimes tense situations, but afterwards he was always good for a laugh.

"Al was a lot of fun," Assistant Fire Chief Kerry Shriver said. "He was always joking and pulling tricks on everybody. He made things real interesting at the fire department. He took pretty much a rag tag group of people and turned us into something really special."

Dozens of motorcycle riders and fire trucks accompanied Dreves' casket in the procession, riding through an arch of the ladders from two fire trucks. They did so right in front of Cox's Store Volunteer Fire Department. Elgin Fire Chief Mike Baker said it's a way to honor a firefighter, especially a man he said was a prime example of what a fire chief should be.


"He definitely left a fire chief legacy," Baker said. "He did a lot of the work himself. He built a lot of the truck himself, and that's what fire chiefs do. They do the extra. That's why they're fire chiefs."
 
Dreves was later laid to rest at the Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin.

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