CLEVELAND — Hearts were heavy at Cleveland Fire Station 22 where firefighter Johnny Tetrick worked for more than two decades before his death over the weekend.
“I’m better off working with Johnny Tetrick,” said firefighter Dan Zudic.
Colleagues, friends and family shared their fondest memories of Tetrick, from his strong work ethic to his advice.
“When I was told I was going to specialize here, I didn’t know what to think,” Zodic said.
No one was a stranger to Tetrick, not even when Zudic was the new guy at Station 22, affectionately called “Double Deuces.”
“And you saw that Johnny Tetrick was on the schedule, you know it’s going to be a good day,” said Zodic.
Tetrick had a larger-than-life presence at the firehouse.
“His smile every day coming into work was contagious,” said firefighter Ray Walker. “When I left work I wanted you to be the best you have to offer.”
Tetrick has been known to be always ready for any call.
On this day, his helmet sat on the kitchen table where any respite meant laughter over good food.
“You don’t often get a good Korean dish in the firehouse, but he can make a great dish,” said firefighter Robert Schwind.
Tetrick died last weekend in a hit-and-run accident. He was on duty trying to save lives after the I-90 crash.
Tetrick’s father is a retired Cleveland firefighter, a career Tetrick’s daughters say he’s always wanted.
“I begged him to retire because it was such a dangerous profession,” said his father, Chris Tetrick.
Throughout the station, there are memories from that fateful night, including a plaque with his name and duty, his life as a firefighter and what matters most to him.
“It was about guiding them through life, that’s all,” said his best friend, Greg Juratek.
Tetrick’s love for his daughters was evident from one glance at his station locker. Pictures adorn both doors.
Tetrick’s daughter, Fallon, said, “This is our family. We grew up here, we came here for Christmas and birthdays and everything, so that’s where he’s been, that’s our family too.”
“He’s been here for 25 years and I think a big part of that is that he’s fiercely loyal,” said his daughter, Eden.
“They’ve lost a brother, and we’ve lost a father,” said his daughter, Reagan.
“These girls are now my girls and I hope I do right,” said Juratek.
Juratic described his relationship with Tetrick as inseparable.
“My day often revolved around what his day was like and vice versa,” said Juratek.
Greg has two girls of his own and looked to Tetrick for advice.
“His advice is crucial, you can’t get better advice,” said Jurate.
His colleagues, both veterans and the younger staff, felt that way.
“It helped make you a better person because you didn’t want to let Johnny down,” Zodic said.
Tetrick’s daughters say their father worked four jobs, loves helping people and will always put others first.
Teammates say Tetrick deserves a full arena this weekend as a tribute to his final farewell and to welcome anyone who comes out to pay their respects.
Here are details of Tetrick’s funeral service, from a Cleveland Fire Department press release:
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 11 am (Doors open at 10 a.m.) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at 1 Center Court in Cleveland. The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and The Gateway are uniquely equipped to be the location of the funeral service.
The service is open to the public.
The practical route to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday is as follows:
- RT. 91 Note – RT. 6 WB – Euclid WB – Dille / Nottingham NB – St. Clair WB – E. 79th SB – Superior WB – E. 9th NB – Erieside WB – Al Lerner Way WB – W. 3rd SB – St. Clair WB – W. 9th SB – W. Huron SE – Ontario SB – Carnegie EB – E. 9th NB – Bolivar WB – Under Garage Parking.
Public parking for attendees is available in the eastern garage.
Entrance gates for the general public include the Sherwin-Williams entrance and the Cliffs entrance located on the corners of Huron Road. and Ontario Avenue/Huron Road and E. Sixth Avenue, respectively.
Close roads around the square
- Ontario/Huron Eastbound
- E9/Erie Court
- E9 @ Cemetery
- E9/Bolivar – E/B Bolivar is open from E9
- e. ninth / probability
- Huron / Prospect
- E9 PL / Huron
- E VII / Huron
- VI / Huron
- E. 4/ High Street
Cleveland Police will be on site directing and assisting with traffic flow.
Those who don’t plan to attend in person can watch a live stream of the event via the Cleveland Division of Fire’s Facebook page.
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